EMS Week: Honoring those saving lives

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    Staff Writer

    This week is National Emergency Services (EMS) Week — a time to recognize and honor the people in our community serving on the healthcare frontlines.

    Haz Said, with marketing and communications for the Upper San Juan Health Service District, highlighted the importance of honoring EMS personnel this week, stating in an email to The SUN, “Many emergency medical service personnel, especially in rural areas, are volunteers.”

    The EMS organization was created in 1974, through authorizations by Congress and President Gerald Ford. Shortly thereafter, one week each year was set aside to honor those working in the emergency services field.

    According to the EMS week website, “A lot has changed over the last four decades. EMS is now recognized for its role in saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest and trauma; getting people to the hospitals best equipped to treat heart attacks and strokes; and in setting the stage for a positive care experience — not just through medical skill, but by showing caring and compassion to patients in scary, distressing situations.”

    EMS week online lists several ways to celebrate local volunteers who are there for the community 24/7, including: “Feed your team’s soul with lunch … Treat your team to discounts at select spots … Honor fallen EMS personnel … Arrange dunk tanks and magic shows …” and recognize moments when lives were saved.

    Most importantly, “Say thank you.”

    To learn more about EMS, its history and organization, or about National EMS Week activities, go to www.emsweekideas.org.

    shanti.johnson@pagosasun.com