May 15 – 21 is National EMS Week, bringing together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.”
EMS Week is also an opportunity to publicize those contributions. Given the challenges facing our nation’s healthcare system and the rapid pace of change, making sure the public and other stakeholders understand what EMS has to offer has never been more important.
Whether celebrated with a company cookout or a catered lunch; an open house, an awards ceremony or even quiet reflection about what it means to be an EMS practitioner, EMS Week is the perfect time to recognize EMS and all that its practitioners do for our nation.
This year, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) continues its partnership with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) on the EMS Strong campaign. Together, NAEMT and ACEP are working to ensure that the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of their communities are fully celebrated and recognized.
ACEP began collecting and distributing ideas and information for EMS Week in the early 1980’s. Professionally printed and prepared EMS Week Planning kits were developed starting in the late 1980’s. Today 25,000 EMS Week Planning Guides are distributed free of charge to EMS services, fire departments, rescue squads, volunteer groups, and emergency departments across the country. The 48-page guide contains ideas for local EMS Week activities and highlights EMS Week programs held by EMS services during the previous year.
With the development of mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP), EMS is also increasingly a valued participant in achieving the nation’s overall healthcare goals of improved patient health and lowered costs.