History and Special Collections for the Sciences

The Second Generation of Paramedics

Jim Page’s final speech, “The Second Generation of Paramedics,” was a half-hour lecture delivered at the 2004 graduation ceremonies of the Emergency Medical Services Academy (EMS Academy) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

View the speech

Winnie Maggiore tells the backstory about the video

Winnie Maggiore, a former paramedic and attorney focusing on EMS, provided a videotape of Jim’s final lecture. Here is her story of how it came to be:

“Jim had asked me to help him with a case involving a paramedic in California who was facing a license revocation. I reviewed the materials and Jim actually drove his monster RV all the way out to my house and met with me about the case. I agreed to come to California to be deposed.

Right before I was to leave, Jim got the case settled and I didn’t have to be deposed. “Jim being who he was and me being who I am, neither of us discussed money. Sometime later, Jim asked me what I needed out of it. Knowing how Jim worked, I asked if he was getting paid, and of course, he wasn’t. So, I wasn’t either. However, I asked Jim if he would agree to be the keynote speaker at our 30th paramedic graduation. In fact, the lead instructor at the Academy had laughed at me when I told him I might be able to get Jim Page to speak; he actually said ‘Who do you think you are to think you can get Jim Page here … no way we could afford him anyway.’

“Of course, Jim agreed to do it. Unfortunately, the date fell in the middle of a family reunion. Jim being who he was, came anyway. I offered him any hotel room in town, but he preferred to stay at my house. He hung out on the back patio and wrote all day while I was at work; I came home early and we sat at the dining room table and had a long, intense talk. I marveled at how acute his memory was of people he met at rural fire stations years ago.

“Jim spoke that night, then went back to his family reunion. Two weeks later, he was gone.

“When I asked around at the Academy to see if anyone by chance had recorded the talk, I found that one of the instructors was testing out a new video camera and recorded the talk. The camera was still sitting in his car and we were able to retrieve the film.”