Important Reminders for the 40th Annual Virginia EMS Symposium

Dear 2019 Symposium Participant,

We’re only a few days away from the 40th Annual Virginia EMS Symposium, one of the largest five-day EMS training events available in the nation! As you’re packing, please remember to bring clothes that you can layer because the temperature in the classrooms can vary. Here are some important updates and reminders, please read through them carefully. Safe travels and see you in Norfolk next week!

As an update to previously advertised information, our Keynote Speaker for the Saturday, Nov. 9 Governor’s EMS Awards Ceremony and Banquet will now feature Randolph “Randy” Mantooth. If you are unable to purchase tickets to the awards banquet, Randy Mantooth will also be available at two autograph sessions during the Virginia EMS Symposium. Mr. Mantooth will be on the 3rd floor of the Hilton hotel on Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and at the Marriott Exhibit Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. – noon.

Our previously scheduled awards banquet Keynote Speaker J.R. Martinez will now be speaking at the General Session on Friday, Nov. 8 from 8-9 a.m. For those unable to attend this session with J.R. Martinez, he will also be available for a “meet and greet” on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Hilton on the 3rd floor.

  1. On-site Registration Check-in Times:
    • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.After you check in at the registration area on the 3rd floor of the Marriott, please review your class confirmation letter and locate each of your classes in the On-Site Guide or via the “VA EMS Symposium” mobile app available through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.*You should identify where your classes are located each day, in advance, because you may have classes that are held in the Marriott, the Sheraton and the Hilton. All facilities will host various classes throughout this five-day event, so you will need to preplan and locate your classes to assure that you take advantage of the breaks and can get to your next class on time. Be sure to check the registration area on the 3rd floor of the Marriott or the “VA EMS Symposium” mobile app for course cancellations, room changes and other important announcements. As a reminder, it is your responsibility to make sure you are scanned as you leave each class and that your certification number, at a minimum, appears on the scanner screen.*To download the mobile app, visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and search for “VA EMS Symposium.” Click links for download instructions for the “VA EMS Symposium”app on your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone. Please note: If you are having trouble downloading the app, you can access the mobile web app via the following URL:
  1. Free parking is available for Symposium registrants at Harbor Park baseball stadium. If you park at Harbor Park you must get a permit from the parking permit table on the 3rd floor in the Marriott. Parking at Harbor Park during Symposium will only be available in Lot D from Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 3:00 p.m. – Sunday, Nov. 10 at noon. A Symposium marked shuttle bus will make stops at Harbor Park, the corner of Martins Lane and E. Main Street (for Marriott and Hilton hotels) and the Sheraton hotel.Symposium Shuttle Schedule:
    • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, Nov. 7, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
    • Friday, Nov. 8, 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
    • Saturday, Nov. 9, 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 10, 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  1. New this Year! General Sessions: Plan to attend General Sessions, which are open to all attendees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8-9 a.m. in Marriott IV, 4th floor. Recently, some scheduling changes were announced, which affected the Keynote Speaker for the awards banquet and the dates of speakers at the General Sessions. The updated schedule is below:
    • Thursday – OPE-908 Active Shooter or Active Deadly Threat: An Approach for EMS Agencies, Instructor: Kevin Ramdayal, FDNY Captain.
    • Friday – This session will feature J.R. Martinez, who was previously scheduled to speak at the Saturday night awards banquet. This scheduling change has Mr. Martinez speaking on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 a.m. in the Marriott. Registration is not required for this session, however, once the room has met capacity it will be closed to additional guests. One hour of continuing education will be awarded in Area 15 – BLS and Area 20 – ALS.
    • Saturday – HEA-610 EMS from Death’s Perspective 1999-2019, Instructor: Robert Page. Those who were previously registered for this general session on Friday, Nov. 8 will be transferred to this session. For those who would like to attend but did not register for this session, limited seats may be available. Please do not take a seat in the room until 7:55 a.m. when all registered attendees should be present. Once the room has met capacity, it will be closed.

4. Special Events: For participants who paid for the Thursday Night Dinner Theater and Saturday Night Awards Banquet, you will receive a voucher in your registration packet. Please bring that voucher to the 3rd floor registration table in the Marriott in order to redeem it for your wristband, which will grant you access to these events. Please take care not to lose your wristband, as you will be required to show it at the door for each event.

    • Spirit Night Dinner Cruise – The Spirit of Norfolk will offer on-site ticket purchases at the special $40/person symposium dinner cruise rate, but it is subject to availability. Tickets may be purchased at the 3rd floor registration area until Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. The dinner cruise is Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 – 9 p.m. Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m. Click here to see event flyer.
    • New this Year – TWO Exhibit Vendor Halls! Exhibit Hours at the Marriott and the Hilton hotels:
      • Thursday, Nov. 7, 2 – 7 p.m.
      • Friday, Nov. 8, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. & 5:30 – 7 p.m.
      • Saturday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m. – Noon.
        *There will be a special vendor reception, which is open to everyone, on Thursday at the Hilton and on Friday at the Marriott from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Vendor Exhibit Halls. Heavy hors d’œuvres will be served.
    • Thursday Night DJ Dance – Dance the night away to all of the latest hits in the Hampton Ballroom, 3rd floor, Marriott.
    • New this Year! Thursday Night Dinner Theater with Magician – This family-friendly event will welcome an inspirational magician who brings his show from Las Vegas. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. (this is an update from previously advertised info.) and the show will be from 8-9 p.m. at the Sheraton hotel. This event is $10/person and tickets will be available for purchase on-site, subject to availability.
    • Casino Monte Carlo – Friday, Nov. 8, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. in the Hampton Ballroom, 3rd floor, Marriott. There will be lots more exciting entertainment options, featuring more tables and games than ever before! There’s plenty of fun for everyone! Be sure to check out this family-friendly event.
    • Governor’s EMS Awards Ceremony – Join us as we honor the 2019 Governor’s EMS Award nominees on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 6:45 p.m., Norfolk Ballroom, 1st floor, Marriott. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. A plated dinner will be served at banquet-style seating. New this year – We’ll welcome Randolph “Randy” Mantooth as the Keynote Speaker for this event (this is an update from previously advertised info.) There is a $10/person fee for this event and tickets may be offered for on-site purchase, subject to availability. After the awards ceremony, join us for the annual DJ Dance in the Hampton Ballroom, 3rd floor, Marriott.

5. Save time and money with quick lunch options from the Marriott and the Sheraton. Quick lunches at the Marriott will be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the lounge, 2nd floor, Norfolk Waterside Marriott. Cash only. Exact change is appreciated.

Norfolk Waterside Marriott


  • Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich with Sweet and Tangy coleslaw @ $6.75 Each
  • Grilled Chicken Wrap with Lettuce, Tomato, Jack and Cheddar Cheese @ $6.25 Each
  • Garden Salad @ $6.75 Each
  • Bag of Chips, Soft Drink and Cookie @ $5.75 Each


  • Chicken Parmesan Sandwich @ $6.75 Each
  • Meatball Marinara Sub @ $6.75 Each
  • Caesar Salad @ $6.75 Each
  • Bag of Chips, Soft Drink and Cookie @ $5.75 Each


  • Hot Ham and Swiss on a Croissant bun @ $6.75 Each
  • Roast Beef Grilled Onion and Cheddar on Sub Roll @ $6.25 Each
  • Chicken Caesar Salad @ $6.75 Each
  • Bag of Chips, Soft Drink and Cookie @ $5.75 Each

Sheraton Norfolk Waterside – Daily lunch specials will be served Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Waterside District will also be serving lunch and dinner options, as well as offering special pricing when you “show your symposium badge.” There are many other lunch and dinner options in the surrounding area, including D’egg Diner, which is open across the street from the Marriott. For additional dining options, please see the Norfolk dining guide, which will be enclosed in your registration packet, on the Symposium mobile app or click here for Norfolk restaurant options.

Don’t forget to download the “VA EMS Symposium” app to stay updated while at the Virginia EMS Symposium. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and use the hashtag #VaEMS2019 to share your “Education for Life.”


EMS Symposium Staff

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