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National EMS Week Closes With EMS Recognition Day

As National EMS Week draws to a close, Friday’s theme is EMS Recognition Day, for which communities are invited to hold celebrations and other special events to recognize their emergency providers.

“EMS professionals deliver urgent and essential care, and often do it under immense pressure with little thanks,” notes the EMS Strong page. “On EMS Recognition Day, honor local EMS heroes and those who regularly go above and beyond what is expected. Give gratitude to other responders for their unwavering commitment to serve their communities.”

The site offers some ideas for celebrating:

  • Remember colleagues injured or killed in the line of duty with a public ceremony or a moment of silence.
  • Host an awards dinner to recognize an EMT or Paramedic of the Year, as well as all your EMS practitioners.
  • Give gratitude to your family by taking some time off during EMS Week. Relax and be present and attentive with the ones you love.

A nice example from yesterday in New York illustrates a good way EMS providers (and those they help) can be recognized during EMS Week: Northwell Health hosted its annual “Second Chances” Luncheon to reunite providers with patients whose lives they saved.

Emil Kosor, 66, collapsed last August after helping a neighbor repair a lawnmower. EMTs Christopher Delaney and Kelly Gorman responded, performed CPR and transported Kosor, who survived and received an implanted cardioverter defibrillator. Two days after leaving the hospital, Kosor welcomed his eighth grandchild. “A lot of the time they are at the hospital and still working on them, and we really don’t know the end story,” Delaney told the Ridgewood Times. “It’s really nice to see the end story.”

Katherine Burger, 64, went to a movie with her family, fell asleep and couldn’t be awakened. Someone did CPR. Arriving responders, including EMT Necole Jackson, used an AED. Burger also went on to hospital care, survived and got an implanted defibrillator. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years, and this is the first time I’ve gotten recognition like this,” Jackson told the Times. “I got to meet somebody whose life I saved. Because we save people’s lives, but we hand them over, they go home, and you don’t know about them anymore. You go on to the next person. So it’s amazing to see what I helped do.”

During the luncheon the responders received plaques and lots of thanks. “I want to give a big, big thank you,” Burger said. “I’m still processing the fact that I was almost not here. It’s really something that takes a long time to think about.”

As we move into the holiday weekend, we hope you’ve had a great National EMS Week and have a safe Memorial Day. Some final links to complete the week:

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