(RICHMOND, Va.) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers have been challenged beyond measure and continue to provide emergency care with the utmost expertise and professionalism. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.59 million calls for help in Virginia, which represents approximately 4,360 incidents per day.
As proclaimed by Governor Glenn Youngkin, May 15-21 is EMS Week in Virginia. This special week honors EMS responders’ commitment to administering the best prehospital emergency medical care to all people in Virginia. EMS for Children Day, May 18, emphasizes the pediatric patient and their required specialized treatment. This year’s EMS Week theme is “Rising to the Challenge,” and Virginia’s first responders have proven time and again their ability to deliver quality lifesaving emergency care to people in need of help.
“The finest hospital facilities in the world don’t help if you can’t get to them,” said State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “Emergency Medical Service providers bring that access to all, through their dedication, courage and selfless service to their communities. We owe them recognition not just this week, but every week.”
“These past few years have demonstrated Virginia’s EMS providers determination and ability to adapt and respond to various emergency situations presented by the ongoing pandemic,” said Gary Brown, director of the Virginia Department of Health Office of EMS. “I am always so impressed and proud of our well-trained and educated EMS providers, and commend their perseverance and commitment to saving lives during these challenging times.”
During EMS Week, Virginia EMS agencies may host community activities, including first aid classes, health and safety fairs, open houses and more. These family-friendly events encourage citizens to meet and greet the first responders in their neighborhoods. Due to the pandemic, EMS Week community activities may be limited. Please check their websites or social media pages for additional information.
In recognition of Virginia’s fallen fire and EMS personnel, the Virginia Fallen Firefighters and EMS Memorial Service honors fire and EMS responders who died in the line of duty and those who risk their lives daily to serve and protect Virginians. The Annual Fallen Firefighters and EMS Memorial Service will be held June 4 at noon at the Richmond International Raceway.
To learn more about the Virginia Department of Health Office of EMS, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/.