National Emergency Medical Services Week (EMS Week) begins May 20th – 26th; celebrating its 44th year. EMS Week, as defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), is an event that brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety, honor, and the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line".
This year's theme is EMS Strong: Stronger Together honoring EMS Professionals unifying the profession and bringing awareness to National EMS Week. Daily themes, for the week, were designated as an integral part in the success of the annual campaign to continually involve the community:
- Monday, May 21: "Education Day" to highlight both public education programs and EMS provider education;
- Tuesday, May 22: "Safety Day/Safety Tuesday" to promote safety for the EMS provider, the patient and the public;
- Wednesday, May 23: "EMS for Children Day" to highlight the special needs of the pediatric patient;
- Thursday, May 24: "Save-A-Life Day" to promote CPR and Stop the Bleed, which is citizen bleeding control education, "Until Help Arrives" – active bystander training, public CPR programs and other related education programs;
- Friday, May 25: "EMS Recognition Day" to recognize your local EMS heroes and those saved by the EMS system.
EMS Week recognizes over 800,000 honorable men and women in the EMS profession who serve our communities nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), EMS treats and transports approximately 25-30 million patients each year. Virginians, like residents across the country, rely on EMS personnel to respond to the call for help and to provide quality prehospital care, states Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Last year, more than 1.46 million EMS calls, approximately 4,000 responses per day were documented in Virginia's electronic patient care data collection system. During EMS Week, 35,195 EMS providers and 600 agencies in Virginia will be recognized for their dedication and commitment to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the EMS system and the life-saving efforts they provide on a daily basis.
In 2017, Prince William County, a combined agency of career and volunteer personnel, responded to 29,411 incidents requiring Advanced and Basic Life Support. "Every call brings a new opportunity to make a difference in building and/or creating new relationships, while putting years of education and training to good use," states Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. "Sometimes, it can mean the difference between life and death, other times it's as simple as providing comfort to a patient."
During EMS Week and throughout the year, take an opportunity to recognize the dedicated men and women who make up the Prince William EMS community and the communities nationwide and say thanks to all those who have dedicated so much to this profession and our communities.
For more information visit National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians www.naemt.org, Virginia Department of Health www.vdh.virginia.gov, American College of Emergency Physicians www.acep.org/, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration www.nhtsa.gov.