Governor Branstad will sign a proclamation Friday May 16 designating May 18 to 24, 2014 as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Whether it’s a heart attack, broken leg, or a child having trouble breathing, Iowans rely on the EMS system to provide efficient, well-trained, and reliable out-of-hospital emergency care when it’s needed. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Bureau of EMS joins the nearly 12,000 EMS providers in our state to recognize the importance of EMS.
“EMS week serves to honor the professionalism, dedication, and sacrifice of emergency medical responders in communities all across Iowa,” said Rebecca Curtiss, interim EMS bureau chief. “The work these providers do is tremendous; EMS services in Iowa responded to 244,011 calls in 2012. Those calls resulted in more than 207,000 patients being transported to hospitals.”
“These providers are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays,” said Jerry Ewers, President of the Iowa EMS Association. “Two-thirds of these providers are volunteers and receive little-to-no pay for what they do. If you have the opportunity this week, please take time to thank an emergency medical care provider for what they do for all of us.”
EMS week activities are planned in many communities across Iowa. Check with your local EMS agency, hospital ambulance service, or fire department rescue squad for details on observances in your area.