General Information

The Virginia EMS Symposium is one of the largest and most comprehensive EMS training events in the country! This five-day training event helps EMS providers fulfill their continuing education needs, with more than 380 classes and 13 course tracks. These courses are also applicable for nurses and physicians.

Important Reminders for the 39th Annual Virginia EMS Symposium

Here are some important updates and reminders as you prepare to attend the 39th Annual Virginia EMS Symposium. Please remember to bring clothes that you can layer because the temperature in the classrooms can vary. Please read through these important reminders carefully.

On-Site Check-In Times

Below are the hours that on-site registration will be open during the 2018 Virginia EMS Symposium.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Important Symposium Policies

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.

No Smoking – All symposium activities, classes, exhibits and hallways are designated strictly non-smoking. Smoking is only allowed out of the conference center. Also, please refrain from using other tobacco products in class.

No Children in Classes – In order to reduce classroom distractions, children and infants are not permitted in symposium classes.

No Admittance if Late to Class – You must be in class for the entire time designated to earn your CEUs. If you arrive late, you will not be admitted.

Cancellations – The symposium registration fee will be refunded if requested in writing and received at the Virginia EMS Symposium office by 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. A $25 processing fee is charged for all cancellations.

Symposium Dining Options

Free Symposium Parking

Symposium participants can park at no charge for the entire symposium at the Harbor Park baseball stadium parking lot. Harbor Park is about four blocks from the Marriott and offers plenty of safe, lighted parking. Harbor Park parking permits will be available at the parking information booth located in the symposium registration area of the Marriott. You will receive a parking permit to display on your dashboard, which can only be used at Harbor Park for the duration of symposium.

A shuttle service is being provided to take people from the Harbor Park lot to the Sheraton and the Marriott. Below is the schedule for the shuttle bus:

Wednesday & Thursday – 6:15 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday – 6:15 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday – 6:15 a.m. -2 p.m.

To get from Harbor Park back downtown you can walk or ride. The Tide transit bus and the Light Rail are $2 for one trip. For more Hampton Roads Transit fares information, visit:

Please note that free parking does NOT include the parking garages. Free parking only applies to the designated area in the Harbor Park baseball stadium parking lot. More information will be available on site.

Youth Rescue Camps

Rescue Camp for youth is a fast paced and fun-filled session for children ages 8 – 12. Training covers CPR, water rescue, basic first aid, personal safety, as well as ropes and repelling. Rescue Camp is sponsored by the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads (VAVRS). Youth Rescue Camp is limited to 27 children.

Youth classes meet from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10. There is a $25 fee per child attending the rescue camps. Be sure to register while filling out your symposium registration form.


Due to high demand during the Virginia EMS Symposium, many area hotels sell out of rooms quickly. For assistance with local lodging options, please contact the Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-368-3097 or

Additionally, some area hotels may offer a special EMS Symposium state per diem rate, please ask when making your reservation. Bring your provider i.d. card, as you may be asked for it upon check in to receive the special rate.

Symposium attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. If you need special accommodations, please call the hotel where you have made reservations. The Office of EMS is unable to make special accommodations for you.