Take time to thank EMS staff during special week

To the editor:

May 19 through 25 is National EMS Week. This is an opportunity to recognize the pre-hospital medical care providers who comprise our local Emergency Medical Services system. This year’s theme: “EMS: One Mission – One Team.” emphasizes their dedication to assuring access to quality medical care during both personal emergency and public health crisis events.

Did you know that emergency medical services responded to over 1.9 million requests for assistance throughout Pennsylvania in 2011? That volume results in an EMS dispatch every 18 seconds. Also, this representation doesn’t include other responsibilities including various community/public health events and routine transports, community information and education, training and continuing education, and general organizational duties – washing/inventory of vehicles, maintenance of building and vehicles, etc.

Within our region – Centre, Clinton, Juniata and Mifflin counties – there are approximately 1,000 EMS providers staffing 69 ambulances and 21 QRS vehicles to assure optimal pre-hospital medical care is available anytime, anywhere when requested. These individuals responded to roughly 30,500 requests for emergency medical assistance in 2012.

Whether providing care as part of a Quick Response Service or through a local ambulance service; at the Basic Life Support or Advanced Life Support level; on the ground or in the air; as a career choice or on a volunteer basis; all emergency medial care providers are dedicated professionals who spend countless hours preparing for and responding to family, friends, neighbors, and total strangers in their time of need.

Please take the time to thank the EMS providers within your community and tell them how much you appreciate their commitment to making sure that quality emergency medical care is just a telephone call away – anytime, anywhere. For more information, or to inquire about joining the “Team,” please contact your local EMS agency or Seven Mountains EMS Council.

Tim Nilson

Executive Director

Seven Mountains EMS Council