Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue
National Emergency Medical Services Week (EMS Week) is May 21 – 27 . This year’s theme is EMS Strong – Always in Service, recognizing more than 840,000 honorable men and women in the EMS profession who serve our communities nationwide. 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”.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, Virginians, like residents across the country, rely on EMS personnel to respond to the call for help and to provide quality pre-hospital care. Last year, nearly 1.5 million EMS calls, were documented in Virginia’s patient care data collection system. During this special week, nearly 35,000 EMS providers and more than 630 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 — Every day, they are called upon to help others through one of the most frightening times of their lives. Every day, they’re called upon to provide a sense of security and relief during chaotic and challenging situations. Every day, they’re called upon to do the work that only a select few can do. — They’re Always in Service.
EMS treats approximately 25-30 million patients each year with an annual expenditure of about $5 billion, according to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). In 2016, Prince William County, a combined agency of career and volunteer personnel, responded to 28,925 incidents requiring Advanced and Basic Life Support. “Every call brings a new opportunity to make a difference and, creates an opportunity to put 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.”
This year, EMS Week is designating a theme for each day of the week. Monday is “Education Day” highlighting both public education programs and EMS provider education; Tuesday is “Safety Tuesday” promoting Safety for the EMS provider, the patient, and the public; Wednesday is “EMS for Children Day”, highlighting the special needs of caring for children; Thursday is “Save-A-Life Day”, promoting “Stop the Bleed” citizen bleeding control education, “Until Help Arrives” active bystander training, public CPR programs, and other related education programs; and Friday is recognizing your local EMS heroes and those saved by the EMS system.
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.