We talked to three past SUMMIT attendees, and asked them to share their favorite things from keynotes to hands-on training and networking–about our yearly user conference. Here’s what they had to say.
Chief Operating Officer
Butler Medical Transport
Are you going to summit? That is the most asked question whenever you talk to a ZOLL employee from January to May. I often thought to myself no, why would I go? After attending the past six years, I would now ask you how I could imagine not going. Here’s why I go year after year:
- The number one reason to go to Summit is networking. Your colleagues and competitors from across the United States all do things differently. Listening and talking to so many of them, I guarantee you will pick up a tip/tool/trick that will improve the efficiency of your operation, and ultimately make you, your coworker or your employees lives easier, and save you money. You may get this information from a great presentation from a speaker, whether keynote or individual track speaker. Or maybe you will get it at the social event over your favorite cocktail; in this case, you should write it down so you remember in the morning.
- If you have a fear of learning from your colleagues, then learn from the ZOLL staff, they are literally everywhere, it’s as if there is a sea of blue all week. Your favorite support technicians are all over, and those million dollar questions you have always wanted to ask them on best practices or tricks of the trade—which you never remember to ask on the phone or are too afraid to ask—now you can. You can attend sessions taught by support technicians on almost all products and learn that the feature you wished the product had, well it already exists, but it’s on page 9,000 of the documentation, which oops, you never read.
- Did you ever wish that you could influence how a product is designed or what was important to your organization in functionality of a program? Well you guessed it, here is your chance to speak one on one with the product owners and managers, who dictate the future development of a product. You even have the opportunity to explain to developers of products how you envision it working rather than leaving it to someone else’s imagination. Alternatively, each product has a roundtable discussion with your peers where you can drum up support for your ideas from colleagues, so you have many voices and votes on Idea Exchange.
- If none of these things has you asking how I couldn’t go, then just think fun and relaxation. Every night the staff at ZOLL puts on an incredible event that is full of fun, relaxation, enjoyment, food drinks and laughs. Summit truly is an event and experience you will be sorry if you miss.
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Medic Ambulance Service
This upcoming year will be my 10th year attending the ZOLL SUMMIT. Our organization is where we are today because of our regular attendance of this conference. And here’s why:
- SUMMIT gives us the opportunity to speak directly with ZOLL technical experts, who give us insights on how to better use the products and make sure we are using them to the fullest capacity. At Medic, we operate the full ZOLL Suite of software products, and we do so because of our time at SUMMIT. The product showcase room has always been a great way to see all the products—current and future—working together across all platforms. The ability to see this system-wide integration of products and be able to demo them in the product showcase room is helpful and assisted our organization in building a plan for our future. When I walked into the product showcase room in 2007, as a new dispatch customer with no other ZOLL products and on paper PCRs system wide, I was able to see what the future could be for our organization. For a “mom and pop” organization who didn't regularly attend national conferences, ZOLL Summit was our first glimpse at what the standard was and what possibilities were available to us. It opened our eyes and we have never shut them since. I honestly and truly can say ZOLL Summit helped give our organization the tools and guidance we needed to be a better organization and we were up for the challenge.
- Every year, the speakers are of the highest quality. The information on operations and reimbursement best practices is on par with any other national conference I have attended.
- I also enjoy seeing other ZOLL users present their best practices and how using certain ZOLL products have impacted their organization. The opportunity to see other EMS systems sharing their experiences with ZOLL products, and how they have positively impacted their organizations, make the capacity for change real and tangible. Technological improvements and system enhancements can feel daunting and unattainable. SUMMIT helps others see that even though it may be a significant project, it’s attainable and closer than you may have thought.
- Let’s also not forget ZOLL Summit is in Denver, Colorado; and Denver is a pretty awesome city!
EMS Battalion Chief
Golder Ranch Fire District
It has been four years since I first attended SUMMIT, and truth be told, it wasn’t even my idea. At the behest of our IT Manager Herman, I reluctantly booked a flight to Denver and a hotel room for the week. As we walked into the keynote address at the start of the conference, I told Herman that if the conference turned out to be a waste of time and money, that I would get him back at the moment he least expected it. However, as I walked out, I knew that week in Denver would benefit our organization significantly in the areas of education, access and networking. Like most of my peers, I am responsible for submitting an annual budget, including validation for each line item. SUMMIT is a conference I plan for annually, and the justification is easy to provide. It includes:
- The topics covered are delivered by industry subject matter experts from agencies of all types and sizes. SUMMIT 2014 marked my organizations' initial exposure to the concept of Community Paramedicine during a presentation by Western Eagle County, Colorado. Following that presentation and a year of development, Golder Ranch Fire District launched our Community Integrated Healthcare Program, which since has become the first officially recognized Treat and Refer provider in Arizona by our department of health services. Without that initial exposure, it’s tough to say where our operation would be at today. Each year, the personnel we send to SUMMIT return with a new idea or concept to evaluate and implement to better serve our residents and employees.
- Each year, Herman and I have access to every developer and team at ZOLL. This direct communication provides the opportunity to give input on how ZOLL products can be of increased benefit to our organization as well as troubleshoot any problems that we are experiencing. The ability to collaborate and interact directly with developers has allowed our agency to maximize the ZOLL products we use.
- As the fire and EMS industry evolves, many departments are focusing on networking and relationship building to stay ahead of the evolution curve. Through the relationships developed at Summit, we have built a vast network of peers and professionals that provide and receive support when needed. The opportunity to collaborate with personnel from agencies that are large or small, professional or volunteer, and public or private, exposes our District to best practices from all parts of the country which improves our operation as a whole.
This May will mark my fourth time attending SUMMIT and the fifth overall for personnel from our organization. Herman will be there as well, and when not attending a presentation, can often be found holding court at a table with other IT professionals sharing his vision for world domination through his IT Division. However, when we leave at the end of the conference, I am confident my District and the residents we serve will benefit from the education, access and networking at SUMMIT.
I hope we’ve convinced you to be a first time attendee at SUMMIT! Take it from these past attendees; it’s an event you don’t want to miss.