EMS week is a chance for all of you to receive a little recognition and appreciation. It is a celebration to honor EMS providers throughout the industry who deliver the science of lifesaving emergency medical care through the art of caring and compassion. But unlike other “artists”, you practice your art 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We celebrate this week every year to show our appreciation for a job well done. All around the country, EMS awareness festivals will be in full swing—hot dog stands, presentations on safety and health awareness, and, of course, “show and tell” of the cool stuff—local ambulances and helicopters. A demonstration of the best.
What most of the public doesn’t hear about are the stresses of the job—long shifts, working in extreme weather when you have sweat rolling down your brow in the heat or numb toes and fingers from the cold, budgetary cuts . . . . The list goes on and on. But what I would like to ask each of you to do is to remember one thing—why you got into this line of work to begin with.
For some, it’s the “cool” factor. I remember being on-call one Sunday when my pager sounded. “We have 26 week twins and we need you to come in.” My children were still young and hated it when I had to drop everything and go in to work. When I rendezvoused with the helicopter, I put my helmet on, tucked my head low and hopped into the ship. As we lifted off, my kids were later reported to exclaim, “That is SO COOL.” Yes, there is a cool factor, but that isn’t the real reason we do this work.
So why do we do this work? Once we get past the more superficial reasons, like “because it’s cool”, I believe there is even a deeper reason. I believe it speaks to who EMS workers really are. I believe it’s because you desire to really make a difference in a person’s life—literally. I believe each of you is given a certain set of skills and talents that you use to give others a second chance at life. You use them on a moment’s notice and without thinking twice. And you are really good at what you do. It is the core of who you are as a person.
Not everyone can do this important work . . . but you do. And to you we say, THANK YOU!