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Pre-Hospital Exchange Program

Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads Panamerican Trauma Society Pre-Hospital Exchange Program


A formal exchange program between prehospital personnel of the state of Virginia, USA and the prehospital personnel of the various Latin American countries. The goal of the program is the interexchanging of knowledge and experience between providers of different countries.

The program consists of having participants form groups (of 4 people per group) that will act as hosting organizations during one year and as guests the next year. The following organizations will participate:

  • VAVRS United States of America
  • PTS South and Central America

During the first year the first group will travel to the exchange program held by VAVRS in the United States. The following year the second group of prehospital providers from the USA will travel to a hosting country in Latin America. Involvement will have a duration period of two to three weeks for each exchange.

The program may be held in the month of September (variable in Latin America).


Host Organization: VAVRS
Guests: PTS Prehospital Providers
Month: September  

Run in EMS

  • Ride along with six different rural and urban rescue squads.
  • Life Evac- A regional emergency air transport system
  • Tour of Emergency Operations Center

Sites (Subject to change)

Urban Virginia Rescue Squads

Rural Virginia
Rescues Squads



VA Beach






Conventions and Seminars

  • VAVRS Convention (VA Beach September 26-29, 2012)

The convention is held every year with the objective of learning new techniques through medical seminars, enjoying competition and participating in educational and social activities.

  • Annual Virginia EMS Symposium (Norfolk, VA Pending)

The Virginia Annual EMS Symposium is one of the nation's premier educational opportunities for EMS providers and Registered Nurses to obtain continuing education and network. National and local educators participate to make this event one of the top pre-hospital educational opportunities in the country.

Topics: Airway, Cardiac, Critical Incident Stress Management, Communications, Critical Care, Educator, Leadership & management, Medical, Operations, Preconference, Preparatory, Safety, Special Considerations and Trauma.


These are held during the VAVRS Convention, this is an opportunity to observe multiple competitions among prehospital providers and it includes:

  • ALS
  • BLS
  • Rescue
  • Dive Rescue
  • Farm machinery extrication
  • Vehicle extrication
  • Emergency vehicle operator courses (E.V.O.C)


  • Tactical Medic Certification: a 54 hour course conducted over a five day period, designed to provide the medic with the skills necessary to support a tactical law enforcement team.
  • Attend educational activities during the Annual EMS Symposium and the VAVRS convention.

Level I Trauma Center / Observational Experience at MCVH

  • MCV Trauma Bay / resuscitation
  • Burn Center visit
  • Operating Room (observation of cases)


  • Meeting with Virginia Secretary of Health (Dr. Bill Hazel).
  • Meeting with Commissioner of Health (Dr. Karen Remley).
  • Meeting with Dr. Rao Ivatury PTS Executive Director/ Chair of division of trauma and Dr. Michel Aboutanos PTS Secretary treasurer.
  • Meeting with Edward Bish president of VAVRS / Jane Laverne EMS international exchange program coordinator.


  • Camaraderie
  • Visit Civil War Reenactment of Military Hospital
  • Oktoberfest- Festivities starting at the end of September and first week of October with involvement of different breweries.
  • Busch Gardens- Interactive theme park
  • VAVRS Parade in VA Beach
  • Shopping in different malls and outlets
  • Cookouts
  • Day on the water (Janes boat)
  • Washington, DC – National Mall museum tour
  • New York City ground Zero / 911 memorial


Host Organization: PTS
Guests: VAVRS
Month: May (Variable depending on country)

Ride along

  • Urban & Rural (Colombian EMS)
    • Neiva University Hospital Units

Level I Trauma center / Observational Experience at NUH

  • NUH Trauma Bay / resuscitation
  • ICU Service
  • Operating Room (observation of cases)


  • MEDTAC Course (if is available according to the time of the trip).
  • Attend educational activities during the Annual ACAPH Congress (if is available according to the time of the trip).
  • Attend all the MEDITECH educational activities (see at:


  • Meeting with Coordinator of the Emergency Center
  • Meeting with the ER Director and ICU Director of NUH
  • Meeting with President of the Colombian Prehospital National Association

            Social /Tour

  • Neiva City Festival (In late June, early July)
  • Precolombian Cultures Archeological Site Visit
  • Tatacoa Desert Tour
  • Bogota Culture Weekend


  • Will be provided in MEDITECH Foundation, sponsored by Colombian Prehospital National Association and the Prehospital Committee of the PTS.


  • PTS affiliated prehospital personnel
  • Sponsoring PTS Societies


  • The participants must pay for their airplane ticket.
  • Lodging should be provided (participants usually stay at residents homes, hospital or at the rescue squad, etc).
  • Food may be provided by different organizations.

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    last updated: 10/24/2017
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