National EMS Week 2012 is May 20 – May 26, with Wednesday, May 23 – Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day. This year’s theme is “EMS:  More Than A Job. A Calling,” and is sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

There are many great ideas and opportunities during National EMS Week, so start today to plan a great week to not only thank our EMTs & Medics but to promote safety to the community!   EMS Week was developed to bring together local communities and medical personnel in an effort to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line” and is strongly supported by American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) .  This is the week to educate the public.  The public should realize “who” EMS personnel are and what they, as citizens, can do to help support us. It is time for “us” (EMS field providers and organizations) to claim our week to make the public safer!

 “EMS Week is very important for us,” says Chris Stevens, PIO for Emergency Medical Services Authority’s (EMSA) Eastern Division in Tulsa, Okla. “It gives us an opportunity to bring what we do into the public’s eye. I’m always surprised by how many people think all we do is put people in the back of ambulances and drive fast to the hospital. We need to let them know paramedics and EMTs bring care and lifesaving service to patients as soon as we make contact with them.”

Emergency Medical Services, known more commonly as EMS, is a public safety service, as essential as police and fire services.  EMS is easily recognized when one sees emergency vehicles or helicopters responding to incidents in the community, but it is, in fact, much more. It is an intricate system of agencies and organizations; communications and transportation networks; trauma systems, as well as hospitals, trauma centers, and specialty care centers; rehabilitation facilities; and highly trained professionals—including volunteer and career pre-hospital personnel, physicians, nurses, therapists, administrators, government officials, and an informed public that knows what to do in a medical emergency. Each component in the EMS system has an essential job to perform as part of a coordinated system of care.

Responding to medical emergencies is the responsibility of local emergency medical services (EMS) systems. They represent a coordinated effort among many different organizations to deliver the best possible medical care to all patients.   Local communities use the EMS system model to design their own EMS system, using local resources to fill local needs. For instance, pre-hospital care, (one component of an EMS system), may be provided by a volunteer rescue squad, a hospital-based ambulance service, a fire department, a commercial ambulance service, or others.  We should appreciate all the Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and Emergency Physicians and Nurses for their dedication to saving lives.  Thanks to these skilled persons who are on call 24/7, ready to serve.


Sources: American College of Emergency Physicians; BruNotes, Davesems