EMS Week: All Year Long
As you wind down your 2009 National EMS Week activities and celebrations, consider how you can celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of EMS all year long. Remember, EMS week has two purposes — appreciation of EMS providers and improving public awareness of EMS contributions.
Like most recognition days, weeks, or months I believe celebration and affirmation should be ongoing throughout the year and not set aside for just one day or week. Why should we confine our recognition to a set schedule?
1. Acknowledge members' length of service anniversary on the actual anniversary date.
2. Ask customers for testimonial letters about the service they received. Share the original with the patient care crew. Post a copy of the letter for all members to see. Post quotes from the letter on your organization blog and include really excellent customer quotes in your annual report.
3. Set attainable goals for accomplishment of specific patient assessment and treatment techniques in one and three month increments. Review PCRs to assess meeting these goals and recognize successful accomplishment at member meetings or by "all-staff" e-mails.
4. Host regular social events for members. Quarterly or semi-annual has always felt about right to me.
5. Start a blog for your service. Use the blog to write about organization's successes – cardiac arrest saves, injury prevention programs, new employees completing training, employee length of service awards, new equipment, completion of special training, and grant awards won by your organization.
6. Make sure local reporters know about your blog and invite them to use blog content for news reports.
7. Submit monthly press releases — based on your blog posts — to local media.
8. Participate in community events that will increase public awareness of your organization.
Finally, ASK members about the recognition they would like to receive. We all have different expectations and needs for recognition. An EMS Week gift might be adequate for some and totally inadequate for others.
Use the comments area below to share how your service celebrates EMS all year long.