President and CEO of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) Rick Sherlock announced on 22 September that this year’s Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC), which was due to take place 26-28 September, has been postponed due to the situation in the Conference’s host city, Charlotte, North Carolina, US.
On 20 September, Keith Lamont Scott, an African American resident of Charlotte, was shot dead by a law enforcement officer, prompting protests that were initially peaceful but escalated to violent levels when rioters clashed with police. This promoted North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency to help restore order. Additional protests are planned over the weekend and potentially early next week.
AAMS said that in order to review AMTC’s requirements, safety considerations, and options for continuing as scheduled, its staff had ‘been on the ground in Charlotte for the past 24 hours, working very closely with the City, its agencies, and all of our venues’. The Association stated that it believes continuing as scheduled would have detracted from AMTC’s world-class educational and networking experiences and has highlighted that its major concern is for ‘the safety and welfare’ of its members, industry, and patients.
“Due to the events of the past 48 hours and the events being planned in Charlotte for the next three to five days, AAMS has made the very difficult decision to postpone this year’s AMTC,” said Sherlock. He thanked industry members for their patience and understanding and pledged to keep them informed as more information becomes available.