Virginians rely on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to respond to the call for help and to provide quality prehospital care during their greatest time of need. National EMS Week is May 17– 23, 2020. EMS for Children Day, May 20, focuses on the pediatric patient and the specialized care required when providing treatment for them.
During EMS Week, we recognize the dedication of 36,722 EMS providers and 585 agencies in Virginia. We commend their continued efforts to provide lifesaving care and their commitment to the EMS system. This year is especially important because EMS providers in the Commonwealth and across the nation have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been faced with an immeasurable crisis that has required them to plan, adapt and respond in order to take care of the people in their communities. They have demonstrated the true essence of courage, perseverance and resolve during this stressful and unknowing time, and we are forever grateful for their dedication to the EMS field.
There is a heightened level of stress that comes along with being a first responder, and especially during a pandemic response! We want to remind emergency responders that if they are in need of help, please “make the call.” During 2018 to 2019, our research discovered that 3 out of every 5 EMS providers in Virginia believed they experienced burnout, traumatic stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal tendencies or some combination of all of these.
This job is tough, and strength requires maintenance. If you or someone you know is struggling, THERE IS FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL HELP AVAILABLE 24/7 specifically for emergency responders: Fire/EMS Helpline: 1-888-731-FIRE (3473). Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line: Text “BADGE” to 741741. The Emergency Responder Crisis Text Line is a global not-for-profit organization providing free confidential crisis intervention via SMS message. Learn more: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/emergency-medical-services/2020/05/13/end-the-stigma/
National EMS Week will feature a theme for each day of this special week. Learn more about EMS Week at: www.acep.org/emsweek. Download a copy of the planning guide at: EMS Week 2020 – Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow.
The 2020 National EMS Week themed days are as follows:
- Monday is “Education Day” to highlight both public education programs and EMS provider education;
- Tuesday is “Safety Tuesday” to promote safety for the EMS provider, the patient and the public;
- Wednesday is “EMS for Children Day” to highlight the special needs of the pediatric patient;
- Thursday is “Save-A-Life Day” to promote CPR and Stop the Bleed, which is citizen bleeding control education, “Until Help Arrives” – active bystander training, public CPR programs and other related education programs;
- Friday is “EMS Recognition Day” to recognize your local EMS heroes and those saved by the EMS system.
Please join us in recognizing the inspiring contributions of our extraordinary EMS providers, as we thank them for their dedication to serving their neighbors and communities.
- We invite you to share your EMS Week happenings on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
- View the Governor’s proclamation for EMS Week.
- Read the Presidential Proclamation for Emergency Medical Services Week, 2020.
- Read the EMS Week press release.
Check out this special thank you video from the Virginia Office of EMS to recognize EMS providers’ lifesaving work and specialized care to protect the health and well-being of all people in Virginia.