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 400 classes and 13 course tracks. These courses are also applicable for nurses and physicians.

On-Site Check-In Times

Below are the hours that on-site registration will be open during the 2019 Virginia EMS Symposium.

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.

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. Please add these general sessions if not already on your schedule.

  • Thursday – OPE-908  Active Shooter or Active Deadly Threat: An Approach for EMS Agencies  
    The world just keeps getting crazier with unexpected shootings seemingly happening every day. The thing is, we don’t just have to worry about just shootings anymore do we? We live in the world where a car ramming, a knife attack, an explosion causes us to have just as much anxiety as a shooting scene. As EMS we don’t have the luxury of just sitting back and letting someone else handle the call. We’re it and chances are we will get called to respond to one of these events. There are many questions on this complicated topic however one that tends to stand out is how do we even begin to respond to something like this? By using case studies and best practices, this presentation will delve into that question and many more in order to bring some light into this relatively unknown territory.
    Instructor: Kevin Ramdayal, FDNY Captain
  • Friday – HEA-610 EMS from Death’s Perspective 1999-2019
    For the 40th Symposium, we are bringing back a presenter from way back in the past. In 1999, Bob and the Grim Reaper presented to symposium for three years in a row, unheard of at the time. A lot has changed in 20 years, but Death is always there! What has changed in how we deal with him? How we handle death and dying is not as important as how we handle living and the stress of our jobs. Hard hitting session, sight and sound. Memorable message. Parental discretion advised.
    Instructor: Robert Page
  • Saturday – HEA-632 “Reconnect With the Why” – Facing Provider Burnout
    Join EMS legend, Randolph Mantooth (Paramedic John Gage from TV show “Emergency!”), as he shares his personal perspective of 40 years of experiences and interactions with providers and those who have suffered from provider burnout. Randy stresses the importance of recognition of burnout versus PTSD, and helping providers with reconnecting with “the why” – what motivated the provider to get involved in the first place. NOTE: “Celebrity Appearance Subject To Change”
    Instructor: Randolph Mantooth

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. 11, 2019. A $25 processing fee is charged for all cancellations.

Symposium Dining Options

  • Show Your Badge Discounts
  • Downtown Dining Guide
  • Lunch 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 and Teen Camps

Youth Camp
Youth Camp 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. Youth Camp is limited to 25 children.

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

Teen Camp
Teen Camp is a fast paced and fun-filled class designed for teens ages 13-17. Training covers scuba diving, ropes and rappelling, water rescue, wilderness search and rescue, and First Aid skills. This is an interactive event designed for students interested in public safety careers. Teen Camp is limited to 15 teens.

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


When booking your hotel through the symposium registration room block, you will need to contact that specific hotel for questions regarding your reservation. Please do not contact VisitNorfolk for your hotel reservation questions. When the hotels in our room block sell out, there are additional options below to consider.

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.