MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of first responders were in Milwaukee Friday, Jan. 26 for the Wisconsin EMS Association's 32nd "Working Together Conference & Exposition" at the Wisconsin Center. Organizers said "you won’t find more emergency services information, a broader array of educators, a larger EMS and fire exposition hall or better evening entertainment and networking options anywhere throughout Wisconsin."
FOX6 News found 150 items on display, designed to make the jobs of first responders easier and safer -- with price tags ranging from a couple dollars to a couple hundred thousand.
First responders in Wisconsin and across the country are dealing with an increase in overdose calls, and too often, the patient has ingested fentanyl. The synthetic drug can be absorbed through the skin, putting first responders who treat overdose patients at risk.
Medline gloves prevent that exposure.
"It's one of those things you use every single call, every single day. It's the most-used product in EMS," Rhonda Baliff, divisional sales manager for Medline said.
Medline reps had plenty of products to show off and hand out, but Flight for Life officials weren't giving away their chopper -- on display at the conference.
"They can check out the chopper, climb in and get a different perspective," Jayce Commo, professional relations manager for Flight for Life said.
It took the Flight for Life team less than 13 minutes to land the flying ER outside the Wisconsin Center and wheel it into the exhibit hall -- where the first responders who load patients into the chopper would have the unique opportunity to step inside it themselves.
"We see them every day on a chaotic scene when we are focused on patient care. This way interacts with them in a calm atmosphere," Commo said.
Whether they're on display or out in the field, these products help first responders safely deliver quality care.
The 32nd annual Working Together Conference & Exposition continues through Jan. 27.
VISIT Milwaukee estimates it has a roughly $1.7 million impact on the downtown Milwaukee area.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Wisconsin EMS Association, and this conference.