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National EMS Week
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By Member Joyce Shry
May 6, 2019

The countdown for National EMS Week has begun! The 2019 EMS Week theme is “Beyond the Call.”

National EMS Week is May 19 – 25, 2019.

Across the nation, communities and medical professionals will honor the contributions of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) practitioners. From rural communities with little to no local health care services to major cities teeming with humanity the dedicated first responders provide immediate care during a health crisis. Whether there is an accident or an illness, these trained professionals work around the clock to make sure care is available quickly. Keeping up with the latest training ensures they know the most effective life-saving emergency treatments. EMS practitioners are professionals of the highest caliber.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) partners with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to lead annual EMS Week activities. Together, NAEMT and ACEP are working to ensure that the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of their communities are fully celebrated and recognized.

EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." Many celebrate this week with cookouts, catered lunches, an awards ceremony and quiet reflection about what it means to be an EMS practitioner.

There is a revolution taking place in emergency medical services, and for many, it could be life changing. From the increasingly sophisticated equipment carried to new life saving techniques used, ambulance crews today are better equipped for the worst kinds of emergencies. Advanced pre-hospital care along with use of specialized medical equipment, practitioners can identify dangerous conditions quicker.

We are seeing more EMS practitioners providing care and monitoring patients at home by having so-called community para-medicine teams. Their program is for handling preventive care, checking and treating frail or elderly patients; helping those to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, and checking on recently discharged hospital patients to ensure they are following their care instructions.
EMS practitioners are also working on ambulance services whose job is to not take people to the hospital. EMS practitioners can visit and examine patients in their homes, consult with doctors at the hospital and determine the treatment. Caring for patients at home has advantages. Most people have fixed or limited incomes. Costs add up when transporting a patient via ambulance to the ER. Not only is the patient being billed for the ride, the patient now has additional medical costs for the care they are receiving in the ER, doctors and prescription costs.

Celebrating EMS Practitioners Who Go Beyond the Call – Responding to emergency calls and providing patient care are just part of the job. The abilities, determination and resilience of EMS practitioners are put to the test every day. But for many, the sense of responsibility to care for the community doesn’t end when the call or shift does. NAEMT, in partnership with the EMS Strong campaign, salutes EMS professionals who go Beyond the Call every day to create positive change in their communities.

National EMS Week is an opportunity to celebrate the EMS profession with each other and our communities.


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