National EMS Weekend of Honor Pays Tribute to Fallen EMS Heroes
May 7—The National EMS Memorial Service, the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pay tribute to our fallen EMS and air medical providers from throughout the United States during the 2018 National EMS Weekend of Honor, scheduled May 18-20 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center located at 201 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, MD 20745.
There are many activities and events during the three-day National EMS Weekend of Honor, including two events that the public and media are invited and encouraged to attend as a show of support for the selfless service and sacrifice of the 2018 honorees:
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
Arrival & Tribute of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR)
- The NEMSMBR celebrates the lives of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as well as those EMS legacy personnel who have died of natural or non- employment-related causes.
- More than 130 EMS Memorial Bike Riders and support personnel, led by a procession of EMS vehicles, will arrive at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, concluding a trip that began on May 12 in Boston and kicking off the 2018 National EMS Weekend of Honor.
- Riders are predominantly EMS professionals from across the U.S. and Canada. Each of the riders wears dog tags bearing an honoree’s name, agency and date of their loss.
- Upon arrival at the Gaylord Resort, the Presentation of Dog Tags to the families will occur. The rider will meet the family in front of the honoree’s biography to present one of their two dog tags worn during the ride—an emotionally powerful part of the Honor Weekend. The rider will keep the other dog tag as a lifetime reminder of the honoree’s sacrifice.
- The Presentation of the Dog Tags is immediately followed by a short ceremony.
SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018
National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS)
- The National EMS Memorial Service, a formal ceremony to honor fallen EMS professionals who have died in the line of duty, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.
- The entire memorial service can be viewed via live-streaming.
- Hundreds of EMS personnel from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the NEMSMS, along with friends, co-workers of current and past honorees, dignitaries, EMS and business leaders, and government officials.
- All participants in the NEMSMS will be in dress uniform, flight suits, or similar appropriate attire.
- Honor Guards, along with bagpipe and drum corps will volunteer their time and services throughout the weekend.
- An American flag, flown over the nation’s capitol, will be presented to each of the thirty-six honoree’s family along with the NEMSMS medallion.
- During the service, a National Moment of Silence will be called at 6:00 PM (Eastern), so that EMS agencies across the U.S. can pause simultaneously in 30 seconds of radio silence to pay respect and remember the fallen—together.
- The year’s honorees are highlighted in a special Tribute Video, followed by an uplifting Candlelight Ceremony that concludes the service.
- The National EMS Memorial “Tree of Life” will be on display. Bronze oak leaves are engraved with the names of fallen honorees for each year since 1993.
SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018
National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Departure
- Departure of the Southern Route riders of National EMS Memorial Bike Ride at 7:00 a.m. from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center following a brief ceremony.
In August 2015, the three EMS organizations named above agreed to collaborate on a shared vision and strategic plan to honor EMS heroes who have died in the line of duty. They are continuing to move forward with efforts to establish a permanent National EMS Memorial in the greater Washington, D.C. area, an effort being led by the National EMS Memorial Foundation. The most current updates on these efforts can be found on their website.
“This year, the National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the beginning of National EMS Week, which is May 20-26,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “As National EMS Week celebrates the men and women who provide emergency medical services on the front lines of healthcare throughout our country, it is our honor and duty to also remember those who have made the Ultimate Sacrifice while doing so.”