EMS WEEK CELEBRATES both the EMS profession and professionals for the vital role they play in the healthcare continuum.
Celebrating EMS Week, however, can be a daunting task that requires a lot of effort and resources to plan, but sometimes doesn’t do enough to honor the practitioners who provide care to their patients when they need it most.
This year, each day of EMS Week is appointed a theme that represents the multi-faceted nature of EMS. The list below features the five daily themes, why they are important, and several ideas on how to celebrate each of them.
MONDAY: EDUCATION DAY
Sponsored by: Air Methods, Genentech
One of the biggest ways an EMS provider can impact their community is to educate the public about ways they can prevent illness or injury. Education Day seeks to highlight educational programs that serve the public as well as the importance of individual EMS provider continuing education.
To celebrate Education Day:
- Host an EMS open house and offer public education presentations and training or offer to speak to local groups to share why EMS is a valuable part of your community.
- Host an EMS College Bowl competition with crews from different shifts or invite other area services and have teams compete representing each agency. Add an extra flare and include a skills competition as well.
- There’s often no better way to learn than from your peers. Join the online community of EMS professionals who chronicle their experiences every day by reading EMS blogs and listening to podcasts – or even consider starting your own! (emsblogs.com; www. promednetwork.com)
TUESDAY: SAFETY DAY
Sponsored by: Allina Health EMS, Stryker Medical
Sometimes, the very EMS system that people count on for help unintentionally causes preventable harm to those they are trying to help—including first responders. Safety Day encourages responders to focus on risk and prevention rather than possible negative outcomes, and aims to promote the advancement of safety measures for both the community and the profession.
To celebrate Safety Day:
- Take care of your crew by educating them about stress reduction and mental illness to reduce the stigma that prevents EMS providers from asking for help when they need it.
- Evaluate your EMS service’s safety data and utilize it to employ safety education programs tailored to the needs of your service and the community. An example of an existing education program is the NAEMT EMS Safety Course.
- Promote existing programs such as Rider Alert, which provides free identification data cards that will help first responders provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to motorcyclists involved in serious accidents. Find additional information at www.rideralert.org.
WEDNESDAY: EMS FOR CHILDREN DAY
Children have unique physiological and psychological needs compared to adults – needs that are amplified in emergency situations. EMS for Children Day highlights the distinctive aspects of caring for children, and raises awareness about improving specialized care for children in prehospital and acute care settings.
To celebrate EMS for Children Day:
- Enlist the help of community partners to give away free bicycle helmets to local children.
- Hold an event with a local school that gives students the opportunity to tour the ambulances, fire trucks, helicopters, and other response vehicles, as well as interact with EMS professionals.
- Remind your personnel about the EMS for Children resources and materials such as webinars (https://emscimprovement.center/ resources/emsc-webinars/), podcasts (https://www.youtube.com/user/EMSCNRC), or publications (https://emscimprovement. center/resources/publications/) to make sure they’re up-to-date on the specialized needs of treating children.
THURSDAY: SAVE-A-LIFE DAY
Sponsored by: American Heart Association; PulsePoint Foundation; Teleflex Medical
It doesn’t matter how quickly EMS providers get to a scene – bystanders will always be there first. Save-A-Life Day empowers the general public to learn and apply the simple steps that can be taken to help save a life.
To celebrate Save-A-Life Day:
- Plan to participate in the World CPR Challenge. A nation-wide campaign during EMS Week 2017 to train citizens in Compression-Only CPR. Additional information at emsweek.org.
- Organize a community hemorrhage control program by placing bleeding control kits in public places like near an AED and offer training programs for citizens. Find more information regarding Stop The Bleed on pg. 42.
- Host a child restraint inspection event where EMS professionals can teach families how to transport children safely.
FRIDAY: EMS RECOGNITION DAY
Sponsored by: Eagle Pharmaceuticals
EMS professionals deliver urgent and essential care, and often do it under immense pressure with little thanks. On EMS Recognition Day, honor local EMS heroes and those who regularly go above and beyond what is expected. Give gratitude to other responders for their unwavering commitment to serve their communities.
To celebrate EMS Recognition Day:
- Remember colleagues injured or killed in the line of duty with a public ceremony or a moment of silence.
- Host an awards dinner to recognize an EMT or Paramedic of the Year, as well as all of your EMS practitioners.
- Give gratitude to your family by taking some time off during EMS Week, relax, and be present and attentive with the ones you love.