National EMS Week is May 19-25, 2013. Each year, the president issues a proclamation for EMS Week. It’s just one way to honor the men and women the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) calls “those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s ‘front line.’” This year’s theme is EMS: One Mission. One Team.
Very often, EMS is the first link in the chain that gets patients the care they need when injury or illness strikes. But don’t be fooled; these highly skilled workers are so much more than mere patient transporters. In the words of Dr. Melissa Costello, Chair of the ACEP EMS Committee:
“The public’s misperception of the EMS profession is that providers are ambulance drivers, as opposed to EMT or paramedics. The public is failing to understand that the people who arrive at your house or your accident scene are skilled and educated, and come with training and equipment and the capability to handle an emergency. It’s not just that they have the keys to the vehicle that has lights and sirens on it.”
We couldn’t agree more. From issuing proclamations to hanging publicity posters to hosting public events, EMS Week is a celebration with an important theme at its heart: shining a spotlight on those whom we should never take for granted.
The Fall 2012 newsletter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Emergency Medical Services cites some interesting statistics about just how big EMS is in the U.S. These come from the National EMS Assessment:
- 36,698,670 EMS events (responses) occurred in the U.S. in 2009
- There were 826,111 credentialed EMS professionals (24% paramedic)
- 66% of the workforce was male
- 81,295 EMS vehicles
- 21,283 credentialed agencies
For your agency or municipality, here are a few links for ideas on how to make some big noise for the everyday heroes in your midst:
Download the EMS Week Planning Guide from ACEP. (For those of you old enough to remember it, check out their interview with Randolph Mantooth, star of the iconic 70’s show Emergency! on how that show introduced the world of EMS to a national audience.)
From all of us at Health & Safety Institute and our family of brands, THANK YOU for all you do, not only during EMS Week but all year long.