This year’s National EMS Week presents a timely opportunity for our community to give special thanks and gratitude to all Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers who have been and continue to serve on the front lines of our nation’s war on the COVID-19 pandemic. EMS providers are responding to calls for help from patients with suspected or positively diagnosed coronavirus, in addition to 9-1-1 calls for patients with severe injuries and illness, such as cardiac arrests and strokes.

EMS is a vital element of our county’s health care, public health, and public safety systems. Every day, EMS responds to patient calls for help when they have had an accident or are experiencing a medical emergency, including heart attack, difficulty breathing, a fall, drowning, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness. As strongly demonstrated during this pandemic, EMS is an integral component of our community’s ability to respond to public health crises.

EMS also serves as a health care safety net by providing emergent, urgent and preventive medical care as the first step of the health care continuum. EMS fills health care gaps with cost-effective, 24/7 medical care that assesses and navigates patients to the right care, in the right place, and at the right time.

Please join us in saying “Thank you” to everyone on our EMS team and Emergency Department Technicians. Thank you for your compassion, caring and devotion to patient care. Thank you for working long shifts and responding quickly during late night hours. Thank you for taking time away from your families to take care of our community members 24/7. Thank you for being there and comforting us in our time of need. Thank you for risking your safety. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your commitment.