Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy EMS Week - thank an EMS provider this week

Next week is National EMS Week (May 20th - May 26th). This year's theme from the American College of Emergency Physicians is EMS: More than a Job. A calling.

In my other life I am an EMS-Instructor and Paramedic. I have been involved in EMS since 1988 in college. I have not been able to work on the road for the past few years due to a severe back injury, but I still feel a part of EMS as an instructor. I responded to New York City after 9-11 to help out and I spent 15 years serving the city I teach in as a paramedic. I was also a volunteer paramedic and the Lt. of Training for my town's EMS service.

Connecticut Licensed Paramedic Patch with attached Instructor Rocker

Take this week to thank and EMS provider in your town. The First Responders, EMT's and Paramedics are everyday heroes who are often overlooked by the media and public. Firefighters and Police Officers are usually in the news, but EMS providers, whether volunteer, commercial, hospital based, or municipal, are working everyday, helping people everyday, at the expense of their time, health, and family. EMS providers experience high incidences of knee and back injuries and spend countless hours maintaining their skills. They provide an invaluable, life-saving service, while dealing with drunks, combative patients, rude patients and family, for low pay and minimal respect.

Teach your students about EMS. What it is, how to call 911, and when to use 911. 

Here are some resources on EMS Week and EMS.

Say "thank you" to one this week to show your appreciation. If you have ever been helped by EMS, share your story in the comments below.

To all my brothers and sisters in EMS - Stay safe out there.

Here is a list of EMS providers who sacrificed their life on 9-11. I went to the memorial service for them in October 2001 and it was a sobering experience. There were EMS providers from around the world there, paying their respects to those that lost their lives. That day, along with responding to NYC for 9-11, are experiences I will never forget.


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