Sunday, May 20th marked the beginning of National EMS Week. The week last from Sunday until Saturday, May 26th. This year is the 44th annual National EMS Week. According to www.naemt.org, in 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. NAEMT partners with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to lead annual EMS Week activities. Together, NAEMT and ACEP work to ensure that the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of their communities are fully celebrated and recognized.

            “In most circumstances, the EMS Crew are the beginning of your healthcare before getting to the hospital,” states Deanna Long, Owner of White River EMS. EMS Week brings 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."  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.

            EMS is a vital component of healthcare, public health and public safety. On any given day, in almost every community in our nation, EMS responds to patient calls for help, 24/7. “EMS personnel spent countless hours away from their families. It takes very special people to be able to balance the long hours,” states Deanna. EMS is more than an ambulance service. It includes the call center that receives the call for and dispatches help, those who respond first (such as police officers and firefighters), an ambulance transportation team of EMTs and/or paramedics, physicians and nurses who provide advice via radio or phone, air medical services (helicopters and small airplanes), hospital receiving facilities, and governmental and medical oversight.

            In conclusion, Deanna Long expresses thankfulness for the success of WREMS. “We are a family and honored to care for our community. God Bless each and every one of you!” Pictured are Rusty Bishop, Ron Kirk, Stephen Casteel, Ritchie Johnson, Dustin Heuer, and Jacob Vanoven.