National EMS Week this year runs from May 17-23. This is the time when local communities and medical personnel come together to recognize and pay tribute to those who are on the frontline of providing medical services. Sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), this year’s theme is “EMS Strong.”
EMS, emergency medical services, began back in 1973 with the passing of the Emergency Medical Systems Act. This Act established regional EMS systems through the administration of federal grants. The Act also listed 15 elements of a functional EMS system, one of which was public education on emergency medical care which led to the development of National EMS Week.
Emergency medical services consists of many professions including EMTs (emergency medical technicians), paramedics, first responders, emergency physicians, nurses, firefighters, educators, administrators, dispatchers, communicators, transport services, flight services, emergency rooms, hospitals, trauma centers, and more. They all provide a vital public service 24/7 and spend a huge amount of time in continuing education and training to enhance skills.
Get out and support your local EMS! Visit their open house, contribute to the blood drive, join their CPR class, and tell them how much you appreciate their contributions. EMS Strong, this week’s theme of honoring life-saving professionals, should be the theme every week of the year. We are truly thankful for the dedication and service they provide to us, to our loved ones, and to everyone in need.