This year’s EMS Week will emphasize a courageous group of professionals who are “Stronger Together.” That’s the theme for 2018 and it takes place May 20-26.
If you work in EMS this is the ideal time to provide educational opportunities for the public. For others outside the profession, pause for a moment to show your appreciation. Lastly, if you’re considering a career in EMS, the Stronger Together campaign might inspire you to get started!

History of EMS Week

This week of recognition and public education dates back to 1974. At that time, President Gerald Ford declared Nov. 3-10 be “National Emergency Medical Services Week.”  In 1978, observance ceased. Then, in 1982, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) re-energized it and moved it to September.
In 1992, the observance was moved from September to the third week in May, so that it didn’t take anything away from National Fire Prevention Week, in October.

EMS Week 2018 Day-by-Day

Throughout the week, each day has its own theme, according to EMS Strong. The themes include:

Monday: Education

The focus of education day is to provide opportunities for the public to learn about what EMS professionals do, and to remind EMS professionals how important continuing education is.

Tuesday: Safety

Tuesday focuses on risk and prevention. Advance safety measures can make all the difference. It’s important to make sure both professionals and community members know them.

Wednesday: EMS for Children

Caring for children is different than caring for adults. This day focuses on the physiological and psychological aspects of providing emergency care for children. It is also important to raise awareness about specialized care in ambulance transport and hospitals.  

Thursday: Save a Life (Stop the Bleed)

This specific day is meant to teach the public about steps that could save lives before ambulances and emergency personnel arrive on a scene. Some agencies will offer Community CPR and Stop the Bleed training.

Friday: EMS Recognition Day

Finally, EMS Recognition Day honors those who show their commitment to the community daily as they respond to emergency situations.  

Since the late 1980s, planning guides for the week have been provided to fire, rescue, emergency medical services, and other groups. Get the guide at EMS Strong.
The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), the strategic media partner for this event, quoted Dr. Paul D. Kivela, president of ACEP, in a March 15 article.
“Last year’s devastating disasters and mass casualty incidents revealed the strength, dedication, and willingness of the EMS community to come to together, across the nation, in a time of dire need to aid our country,” Kivela said. “Now, more than ever, we must come together and honor the sacrifices that the EMS community makes by increasing awareness and finding opportunities to protect and pursue the interests of our nation’s EMS professionals.”

Ways to Show Gratitude to EMS Professionals

The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians is a partner in the annual EMS Week event. They offer ideas to honor emergency medical responders. Community leaders can also get involved. Here are some suggestions:

  • Treat an EMS team to a meal.
  • Start an EMT or Paramedic of the Year award program.
  • Honor EMS personnel who have lost their lives.
  • Host a community event, or arrange a special event for EMS personnel and their families. Dunk the Chief in the dunk tank, bring in face painters or hire local musicians to perform.
  • Recognize a save.
  • Arrange a parade.
  • Participate in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride.

At Ohio Ambulance, we recognize and honor the contributions of our team members and emergency services personnel across the country. We believe that the right person for the job is one who is a team player, who stays calm in stressful situations, who is friendly and adaptable.  

PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain