Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week is May 15th to 21st and I wanted to take a few moments to express not only my appreciation, but also raise awareness about the dedication and passion that it takes to provide care to patients on their worst day.
EMS providers in our communities are dedicated individuals that have chosen a profession and a life’s work that is not flashy, is underappreciated, and is often difficult for family members to understand. EMTs and Paramedics perform their best on your worst day. They attend college to get degrees that give them a broad knowledge on a plethora of medical and traumatic conditions. They attend clinical time to gain the confidence and stamina that it takes to make a life or death decision while on the side of the road in the dark, in an unlit bedroom, or in front of a crowd at your local high school.
Those people who have required the use of these heroes know the compassion and care that they give is incredibly unique in the medical field. While many providers do not consider themselves heroes, they often carry with them the memories of past patients, calls, and traumatic events for the rest of their lives. When an EMT or Paramedic walks up to their next patient, they may have just treated a pediatric burn patient, someone suffering from a massive heart attack, or resuscitated someone who attempted suicide. They must be ready for any scenario that is presented to them, and carry the compassion for that patient no matter how difficult the situation.
During the week of May 15th to the 21st, some people will bring baked goods to fire houses and ambulance stations, some will simply say thank you, and some will forget the week exists. It is my hope that by reading this, community members will be more aware of the sacrifices that EMS professionals make on a daily basis. Go and find out what your community has for an ambulance service. Is it volunteer? It is paid with full-time staff? Is it per-diem staffing? Become aware of the professionals where you live, and support them with whatever resources they require. The profession is a difficult one, and is often forgotten about until it is needed by a family member, neighbor, or coworker. Happy EMS week to all EMS professionals, keep up the good work!
Patrick Sweeney Underwood