JACKSON COUNTY - May 21-27, 2017 is the 43rd Annual National EMS Week.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities. 

A lot has changed since then. EMS is now firmly established as an essential public function and a vital component of the medical care continuum. On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies, including heart attack, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, drowning, cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness. EMS may provide both basic and advanced medical care at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital. EMS practitioners care for their patients’ medical needs and show caring and compassion to their patients in their most difficult moments.

“Always in Service” is the 2017 EMS Week theme. EMS professionals have made a 24/7 commitment to the citizens and visitors in their community/response area. Readiness for any type of patient, simultaneous single patient incidents or mass casualty incidents is at the core of existence. Their willingness to come to the aid of our families, friends, neighbors and strangers – even when they are officially off-duty – makes them always in service. EMS providers, because of their training and ability to take command in the midst of chaos, go in service when off duty. They are the first to stop at a crashed vehicle on the roadside or to begin CPR when an athlete collapses during a game or to recognize an ill juror while testifying, whatever the case may be, on or off duty, they are “ always in service” to help those in need!

Reliability, availability and preparedness create challenges and opportunities. EMS is always in service because it has become a health care safety net for millions of people who access emergent care by calling 911 when they actually need non-emergent care. EMS agencies are also capitalizing on their constant availability and ubiquitous presence to expand services with community paramedic initiatives.

EMS is also increasingly a valued participant in achieving the nation’s overall healthcare goals of improved patient health and lowered costs.

Jackson General Hospital would like to take this time to honor Jackson County EMS and all the Emergency Medical Service Personnel for their dedication and providing the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.”