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 16 – 22, 2021. EMS for Children Day, May 19, focuses on the pediatric patient and the specialized care required when providing treatment to them.

EMS Week recognizes the dedication of 36,383 EMS providers and 569 agencies in Virginia. We commend their continued efforts to provide lifesaving care and their commitment to the EMS system. During the pandemic, EMS providers in the Commonwealth and across the nation have responded to an immeasurable crisis, which has required planning and adaptation in order to take care of the people in our communities. We are finally starting to see some progress with the administration of vaccines and encourage all EMS providers to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated will be our way out of the pandemic. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination​s near you​, visit: https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/. Everyone in Virginia age 16 or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine now!

This past year has been tough! Responding to the pandemic has required a lot of strength, determination and resolve, but 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.

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 2021 – This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities.

The 2021 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”/”National Stop the Bleed” 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.

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