Virginia’s EMS providers respond to emergencies during our citizens greatest hour of need. The critical moments from the time a 911 call is received to the arrival at the hospital is where emergency care begins. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.65 million calls for help in Virginia, which represents approximately 4,520 incidents per day.
As proclaimed by Governor Glenn Youngkin, May 21-27 is EMS Week in Virginia. This special week honors EMS providers’ commitment to respond to emergencies and provide critical care. EMS for Children Day, May 24, emphasizes the pediatric patient and their required specialized treatment. This year’s EMS Week theme is, “Where Emergency Care Begins,” and it highlights the importance of our first responders who assure quality prehospital care.
“Seconds count when a person is suffering a heart attack, is seriously injured in a wreck, or is having a life-threatening allergic reaction, stroke or other medical emergency. EMS teams provide pre-hospital, on-the-scene care that can make the difference between full recovery, prolonged disability, or death,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton, MD. “EMS professionals, along with other first responders, are also on the front lines of the opioid overdose epidemic, saving lives by administering naloxone, giving people another chance at life and recovery. We appreciate their dedication to the communities they serve.”
“Virginia’s EMS providers are among the best in the nation due to their elevated focus on providing exceptional prehospital emergency care and maintaining their skills with continuing education,” said Gary Brown, director of the Virginia Department of Health Office of EMS. “Their ability to remain calm, treat injuries and save lives during harrowing incidents is truly remarkable. It is my honor to recognize and thank our EMS providers for their heroic efforts, dedication and determination to protecting the health and well-being of all people in Virginia, each and every day.”
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. 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 any 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 3 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/.