This week has been national EMS week. It is a week to honor and recognize those who work in the Emergency Medical Services. Every year EMS week is celebrated during the third full week of May.
EMS is a fairy young in the world of medical treatment. The modern EMS system has been around since a piece of legislation dating back to the 1970’s. This established a strict set of rules and regulations prior to this there were some aspects of EMS care especially during times of war.
In the early days of EMS a lot of services were no more than groups of people who wanted to help others. A lot of services were run out of funeral homes. This was often done since funeral homes had hearse which were fitted with wheeled stretchers for transporting people and bodies.
After the laws were changed and there was a vehicle standardization in place all ambulances had to be either on a truck or van chassis. With this a lot out funeral homes got out of the ambulance business. I am sure that there are still some services run by funeral homes. There is one such service a couple towns away from me that is run in this manner.
It was President Gerald R. Ford who first thought of celebrating and appreciating EMS workers. So in 1974 the first ever EMS week was celebrated from November 3 – 10. EMS week was celebrated for the following four years.
The observation of EMS week was reinstated in 1982 by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). With this reinstitution of EMS week it was moved to September.
Then in 1992 EMS week was moved yet again to the 3rd week in May. A large reason to make the move to May was to separate it from fire prevention week in October. It was strongly thought that both the EMS service and fire service deserved to have their own distinct recognition weeks.
There is no standard to the celebration of EMS Week. It all depends on the individual system as to how they want to recognize there EMS services. Often services have their own celebrations complete with awards, dinners, and events. There are also often events arranged by hospitals.
No matter how EMS week is celebrated, it is a chance to honor the great Man and Women who work in this profession. So during this week take a minute to thank an EMS worker for all that they do, even if you have never needed there services.
I hope you all enjoyed this little historical commentary about National EMS Week. If you enjoyed or found this interesting please give it a like to let me know. Also if you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions for future entries please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Check back next Friday at 1500 or 3 PM for a new commentary article.