We’ve all heard the sirens blare through our neighborhoods, cities, and while we’re driving to work or school. It’s the universal sound that tells us someone needs medical attention. While we peer outside our window or pull over to the side to let an emergency vehicle pass, we hold a moment of silence in our minds, hoping no one is seriously sick or injured.
This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities
The people on the frontlines of emergency services are EMS professionals, and from May 16-21, 2021, we pay particular honor to them. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), in partnership with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), has declared the theme for EMS Week 2021 as This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities.
During EMS week, communities and individuals are asked to honor EMS professionals for their dedication and service to their communities which, like so many healthcare professionals, has been tested as never before during COVID-19. Our local EMS are the lifeline to get sick and injured patients to a hospital or higher level of care. Many EMS personnel also have additional job duties, such as fighting and investigating fires, being on standby during sporting events, or being engaged in county emergency management exercises. During COVID-19, it’s become clearer than ever before how critical they are in our communities.
The Real-Life Impacts of a Vital Community Role
While many people work as EMS full-time, many regions in the United States rely on volunteers. Your EMS professional could be your local banker, grocer, mechanic — anyone in the community, though a common trait among EMS personnel is the strong purpose of serving their community.
In this true story, we recount the impact a rural EMT had on his community. “Dan’s” quick thinking and actions saved a school — and a community — from tragedy.
“It was a spring morning, and the K-12 school third block bell had just rung. As students settled into their seats, the fire alarm went off. As students exited their classrooms, there was Dan, a farm mechanic — and local EMT — standing at the front doors, instructing all of us to go out the South exits. Before we could ask questions, buses and cars began to line up and take us out of town. Dan had witnessed a pick-up truck hauling anhydrous ammonia, a common chemical used to fertilize the cornfields of this region, struck by another pick-up truck. If inhaled, the gas can cause chest pain, wheezing, and death in poorly ventilated areas. Due to the accident, the deadly gas was being released into the air just yards away from the school. His actions prevented what would have been a horrible tragedy.”
Dan’s actions are just one of the millions of times an EMT’s quick thinking and actions have led to positive outcomes for our communities.
Thank You, EMS Professionals
EMS provides essential support to our communities, and here at Mission Control, we want to share our appreciation and gratitude to those who continue to serve with their courage, knowledge, and passion. You can thank your local EMS personnel by sending them letters of gratitude, thank them personally when you see them in your community, and always safely pull your vehicle to the right side when they have their lights and sirens on.