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Home > Topics > EMS Advocacy
June 24, 2011
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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

National EMS Memorial Service

This ceremony is our way of recognizing the hazards of our profession and the risks we take on a daily basis

By Arthur Hsieh

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Each year, the profession has a chance to pause, reflect and celebrate the lives of EMS providers who die in the line of duty.

Like our brothers and sisters in law enforcement and the fire service, it's an important duty to perform. It's our way of recognizing the hazards of our profession and the risks we take on a daily basis when we perform our job.

The National Moment of Silence seeks voluntary participation by all the nation's EMS providers, agencies and emergency communications centers in observing a moment of radio silence timed to coincide with the moment of silence observed during the actual service held annually in Roanoke, Virginia.

In previous years, the "Moments" have seen the participation of over 700 agencies and dispatch centers from around the United States.

At this year's ceremony in Colorado Springs, members of the honorees' families will be presented with a medallion, symbolizing eternal memory; a U.S. Flag which has flown over the Nation's Capital, symbolizing service to the country; and a white rose, symbolizing their undying love.

Each honoree's name will also be engraved on a bronze oak leaf and added to the "Tree of Life," the National EMS Memorial.

The Memorial Service has prepared a "Suggested Script" which is available from their website. You can also watch a live stream of the event.

Saturday, at 1930 Mountain time, I hope you will join the Memorial service, fellow EMS providers and me in the National Moment of Silence and pay tribute to our fallen comrades.

During the moment of silence tomorrow, I will think of not only them, but of all of you as well and wish you a year of good health and safe travels.

About the author

EMS1 Editor in Chief Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com.
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