EMS Week

EMS Week

I’ve had two encounters with Emergency Medical Services teams in my life. Both were life-saving, and I will always be grateful to those individuals. In the first, I was a nine-year-old who suffered from a pretty bad car accident. In the second, I was a terrified pregnant woman with preeclampsia, consoled and cheered up by a ragtag trio of EMS technicians who were competent, funny, and so warm in their demeanor it still brings tears to my eyes.

In our greatest times of fear and despair, we don’t often think ahead—especially when we are possibly facing death. I wish I could recall the names of those people—in both situations—who helped to save not just my life, but also the life of my little girl, but I don’t know if I was even ever introduced. I do send a heartfelt thank you out to these wonderful men and women, and can only imagine the number of lives they’ve saved in all the years since.

Since it’s EMS Week, please send a note of gratitude to any EMS technicians who may have helped you in your own life if you know their names. You could probably even send a note to their hospital, if they work for one, and explain the date and time of your situation to see if you could get the note delivered. If you have any EMS service people in your life, be sure to give them a thanks, too. You can also…

Raise awareness about EMS workers. If you work at a library or school, you may want to set up a display for people to check out. You can order promotional materials such as coloring books, first aid kids, magnets, auto safety kids, and more.

Teach medical safety and first aid. Contact the American Red Cross about having a demonstration at your workplace, school, church, or other group location. When I served in the Youth Service Corps, I used to do demonstrations at malls and schools, and I know the kids had a lot of fun (especially being bandaged up!). You can also make your own (or purchase) first aid kits and supplies, prepare for natural disasters, discuss car safety, and plan an escape route for fires. Fit your child for a bike helmet; get one for yourself as well.

Help others. Give blood if you can. Volunteer. Find out ways you can help in the emergency room or other areas in your local hospital.

Schedule an EMS talk. See if you can get an EMS worker to speak at your school, job fair, or youth group. Ask him or her to especially discuss issues that affect children and teens, such as accident prevention and car safety. See if they can provide safety tips, demonstrations, and answer questions from students.