By Allison G. S. Knox
In 1974, then-President Gerald Ford created National EMS Week to support emergency medical services on a national level. This event was inspired by the need to create new policies for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and highlights the powerful work of EMS professionals throughout the United States.
The 1966 report from the National Academic of Sciences, “Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society” documented that many people were dying in car accidents. It also “revolutionized the way we view and manage injury in America,” and the report’s creators intended it to be a tool for strengthening our nation’s medical safety net.
Related link: EMS Worker Shortages, COVID-19 and Community Resilience
National EMS Week Is a Good Time to Promote Community Education
National EMS Week (May 15-21) is also a good time to showcase what EMS professionals do. EMS professionals respond to 911 emergencies and assist in the transport of patients between facilities, just to name a few of their responsibilities. EMS has also been called the “backbone of healthcare.” For ordinary citizens, this event offers an opportunity to learn more about emergency medicine, public safety and the importance of prehospital care.
Promoting National EMS Week Should Also Emphasize Community Service
Promoting National EMS Week is especially important for community first responders. Ultimately, first responders serve local-level agencies and communities by providing prehospital care.