Fire-Rescue Med 2013 finished up Tuesday afternoon with the perfect closing session by Rommie Duckworth titled, “Perspiration and Inspiration: You’ve Got to Love This Job!”

Duckworth’s message was simple: Take the lessons learned at the conference and put them into action. But don’t ever lose focus on the patients. Don’t ever forget fundamentals come first in EMS.

“You’re here to learn about new stuff,” said Duckworth, who is a lieutenant/EMS coordinator and instructor with Ridgefield Fire Department (Conn.). “But fundamentals are still the key to success.”

Duckworth knows this point might not be popular at a conference focused on the future of fire-based EMS. After all, people come to conferences to learn about current issues and new solutions, not necessarily regurgitate the old stuff.

But Duckworth is adamant the fundamentals always will be the most important element to effective emergency response.

“I know the fundamentals work and I’m comfortable telling anyone of any rank that because of what I saw (on 9/11),” said Duckworth, who was called to duty from his department in Connecticut that day. “… It’s really about providing emergency care. That’s what it’s about.”

Duckworth encouraged everyone to take the lessons they learned at the conference and inspire action in their own departments.

“This is how things move forward,” he said.