What is CAA Stars of Life? Advocating For and Celebrating EMS Professionals

By: Maxim Gorin

The California Ambulance Association (CAA) is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in Emergency Medical Services and advocating for the needs of EMS professionals and EMS organizations throughout California.

One of the CAA’s most significant annual events is the Stars of Life, which is held every year in Sacramento, California, to celebrate the achievements and contributions of EMS professionals across the state.

The Stars of Life event is a two-day celebration that honors the heroic efforts of EMS professionals across California. The event brings together EMS professionals, industry leaders, and elected officials from across the state to recognize the accomplishments of those who have gone above and beyond in their service to their communities. The event is an opportunity to highlight the incredible work done by EMS professionals and to show appreciation for their dedication and sacrifice, of which there is much and many.

Networking with colleagues is an added benefit for owners and operators who have seen each other and brainstormed on zoom for the past few years; a great opportunity for EMS professionals to connect with colleagues from across the state, share experiences and insights, and learn about the latest developments in the field.

As an owner, escorting the Star of Life recipients to the event and facilitating meetings with industry leaders, elected officials, and other stakeholders in the EMS community, is one of the most rewarding components.

The celebration started on the plane ride and didn’t stop until 15 hours later as tired and fulfilled EMS professionals deplaned back in SoCal, shook our hands, and proudly carried their awards and medals out of the airport.

The event serves as a reminder of the vital role that EMS plays in our communities and the sacrifices that EMS professionals make to ensure that people receive the best possible care in times of crisis. By honoring the Stars of Life honorees, the event shows that the EMS community is appreciated and valued, and that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

But – it is so much more than that. For us, for our organization, it was team building, the recipients getting to know each other. It’s character building – what will they talk about at lunch with us? It’s a process full of integrity, as the recipients measure up to the best in the state and wonder what else they can achieve. Its motivating, to hear the accomplishments and stories of this year’s nominees.

The benefits of celebrating EMS professionals each year go beyond just recognizing their accomplishments. The Stars of Life event provides a platform for EMS professionals to connect with each other and to share their experiences and insights.

This networking opportunity can help to build a stronger, more collaborative EMS community, which can lead to better outcomes for patients and communities. The Keynote speaker, always a crowd pleaser along with the panels add value in many ways.

The provisions of leader’s stores remain inspirational and light up the souls and the future of the Star of Life recipients. Additionally, the event helps to raise awareness of the important work that EMS professionals do and the challenges they face.

By bringing together industry leaders, elected officials, and other stakeholders in the EMS community, the event provides an opportunity to educate people about the issues facing the field and to advocate for the needs of EMS professionals.

From breakfast, almost missed due to delayed flights, to the State Capital, to lunch, to meeting with congress members, to educational sessions, to dinner, awards, uber rides to run to catch the last flight home, I continue to be inspired by those that are both new to the profession and those that have dedicated a significant number of years to the service of those in their community.

The investment in the trip and the experience outweighs any cost. For a couple of days, those EMS services competing for EMTs, Paramedics, and Critical Care Nurses are not competitors, rather they are proud professionals cheering for their people, like a coach to their NBA team who just made it into the finals.

The investment in the trip and the experience outweighs any cost. Read that again. As business owners, we often weigh cons against ROI. We care about metrics, the bottom line, and revenue-generating activities.

How do we measure the ROI of an event like this for the local team, for the EMS team, and for the humans involved? You can call it a loss but for me, last month, it was a three-pointer for the game at the buzzer.


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