Americans depend on EMS to assist with various emergency care needs such as heart disease, cancer, and strokes to individuals involved in traffic accidents, structure fires, and on occasion, the delivery of babies. According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), EMS treats approximately 25-30 million patients each year with an annual expenditure of about $6.75 billion. In 2013, Emergency Medical Services, in Prince William County, responded to 30,144 incidents. So far this year, EMS has responded to 4,157 incidents countywide.
National Emergency Medical Services Week (EMS Week) begins May 18th – 24th; it is a week in which local communities and medical personnel publicize safety while honoring an estimated 700,000 practitioners. And while there are many different delivery models for EMS across the country, National EMS Week celebrates all Emergency Medical Service professionals whether government, private, paid or volunteer.
This year’s theme is, “Dedicated for Life,” honoring the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.” Although EMS Week is a way of publicly acknowledging and thanking them for their tireless efforts, dedication to life and their round the clock commitment to the communities they serve, it’s important to thank them each and every day.
EMS Week began in 1973 as a nationwide celebration of everyday heroes who work in emergency services as Dispatchers, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), Paramedics, and Registered Nurses (RN) working 24 hours a day, 365 days a week serving families in their local communities. In addition to traditional roles as emergency responders, EMS personnel work in emergency departments, helicopters, cardiac catheter labs, doctors’ offices, and occupational and industrial settings.” Of the EMS systems nationwide, approximately 40% of EMS professionals work for fire departments. The other 60% work for private companies, municipal services, hospital-based services, the military or other federal agencies.
Beginning this week and throughout the coming year, take the opportunity to thank your local Emergency Medical Services for their commitment to the community and dedication to saving lives.