As EMS Appreciation week winds down, we want to take a few moments to reflect on the past year, during which time the pandemic has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals. The sacrifice and dedication of EMTs, paramedics and other EMS practitioners has rightfully earned them admiration and gratitude in their communities.
Calling them heroes sometimes obscures the fact that -- behind those masks -- are people who, every day, take on many crucial roles: Healthcare professional. Emergency manager. Social worker. Crisis counselor. Consoler. Caregiver.
This year, for National EMS Week, we honor the many roles of EMS professionals and the people behind the scenes who support them. We also recognize the need to share their story with the rest of the world, to make sure people understand that EMS isn’t defined by lights and sirens or ambulance rides. The full portrait of what EMS does and who they are is much more complex, diverse and nuanced.
It’s the paramedic who makes sure someone will feed an elderly patient’s cat when she’s at the hospital.
It’s the ambulance service that steps up to run testing and vaccination clinics when no one else can.
It’s the EMT who holds a child’s hand on the way to the hospital to make sure he isn’t scared.
It’s the crew that spends an hour fighting for a cardiac arrest victim’s life at the end of long, sleepless night.
It’s the emergency medical professionals who care for our communities, day in and day out.
They are EMS.