Shining a spotlight on the people and events that inspire our industry.
You know the old saying, seeing is believing? The same concept applies to “ride alongs,” one of the most effective strategies for educating members of the public, media and stakeholders…
By Susanna J. Smith RESPONDING TO LIFE-THREATENING emergencies and taking care of people in the community is just part of the job for EMS professionals. But for many in EMS,…
Around the country, EMS Week is celebrated with a variety of events. Here are a few ways that some organizations observe EMS Week and ideas that may inspire communities, hospitals and EMS agencies—large and small— who are getting ready to recognize EMS Week 2016.
On the 50th anniversary of the birth of modern EMS, we look back on the impact that the federal government and the adoption of a national systems approach to pre-hospital care has had in helping local agencies and care providers serve their communities.
National EMS Week, May 17-23, 2015, is the perfect time to honor your local EMS professionals and promote awareness of their everyday services to the public. Here are 8 inspiring ways EMS agencies and companies from across the country are celebrating EMS Week this year.
It’s always rewarding to be highly regarded, whether it’s by customers, coworkers or your community. This is especially true for EMS. How patients, community leaders and elected officials regard an EMS agency can impact the level of support-financial and otherwise-an organization receives. That’s no small matter during times when difficult spending decisions are made. EMS Week is a timely way to remind the public and civic leaders of your vital role, and to connect with citizens when they aren’t in the midst of a crisis.
EMS week traces its origins back 40 years ago to 1973, when millions of Americans were first getting to know EMS via the iconic TV show Emergency!
In January 1972, the premier episode of Emergency! aired on NBC. Over the next six years, audiences watched firefighter-paramedics Johnny Gage (played by Randolph Mantooth), Roy DeSoto (played by Kevin Tighe) and the fictional crew of Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 51 deliver babies, teach CPR, treat seizures and rescue people trapped in car wrecks, storm drains and even a man-eating sofa bed.
IMAGINE A LOCAL PARK on a beautiful 70-degree day in May. Joggers make their way along running trails and families spread picnic blankets beneath the kite-dotted sky. Someone strums a guitar.
This peaceful scene is interrupted by the sound of sirens. Several emergency vehicles enter the parking lot -fire engines, ambulances and unit chiefs. But this is no ordinary response: As the first responders step out of their vehicles, a disco beat emanates from a boom box, and the bystanders quickly recognize the tune: “Stayin’ Alive.” Before the Bee Gees get to the part about the New York Times’ effect on man, paramedics have set up a manikin on the grass and begun doing CPR. More manikins are deployed as the crowd grows, and the responders invite onlookers to take a turn doing chest compressions.
EVERY YEAR IN MARCH hundreds of EMS colleagues head to Washington, D.C., as an exercise in democracy. Their vision: to speak with one voice, to ensure lawmakers and their staffs understand the role of EMS and to promote legislation that enables a better system of emergency care.
“EMS providers over the years have been reluctant to pat themselves on the back and share the many success stories that occur [across] the country every day,” says Terry David, EMS director of Rice County in central Kansas, who also serves as the NAEMT Advocacy Coordinator Kansas. “This is an excellent opportunity to begin the dialogue or continue already established relationships with your national elected officials,” he continues. “They do value your opinion and EMS on the Hill is a great opportunity to meet other EMS professionals from across the country and present a unified front,” he adds.
New York City’s Fire Department (FDNY) is the nation’s largest and probably best known. Its 11,000 firefighters are frequently in the news or profiled in movies and TV shows; tales of their heroism on 9/11 have been recounted around the globe.
What the public is less aware of is another critical component of the FDNY-the 3,300 EMTs and paramedics who make up the Bureau of Emergency Medical Service, or FDNY EMS. Created in 1996 when the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation merged with the FDNY, the Bureau of EMS is the nation’s largest municipal EMS agency, responding to 1.4 million calls annually.
Growing up in a small town in suburban Connecticut, Melissa Costello and her teammates on the high school rowing team volunteered at their local fire station/ambulance base. “In Connecticut, and really throughout New England, there are large municipal fire departments in the cities, but virtually everything else is done by volunteers,” Costello says. “For us teenagers, it was a good place to hang out with some structure away from our parents.”
Those experiences turned out to be a first step toward a career in medicine. She took an EMT course and joined her campus rescue squad, GERMS (Georgetown Emergency Medical Response). After moving to Alabama to attend medical school, she volunteered as an EMT-Intermediate for Mobile County EMS and worked for NorthStar Paramedic Service in Tuscaloosa. “I enjoyed actually doing some hands-on patient care in the midst of medical school, which is very book-intensive in the beginning,” says Costello, who was her medical school’s campus class president. “I also enjoyed the people. EMTs and paramedics are really a fun group.”