Raising a glass for EMS Week

Public awareness events such as these can build great relationships with the community

My organization had the privilege of hosting our County's EMS Awards on Wednesday. It was an honor to bestow public recognition to the men and women who personified the hard work, patience and dedication to the various facets of prehospital care. It is National EMS Week, and I'm sure that many systems across the country took a minute to recognize their own "everyday heroes."

Normally, I'm pretty strident about being vigilant in our business. We have to be our own worst critics — it's the mark of a profession that polices its own activities. But, on the flip side, there's a lot to be said about what is good about EMS in how it serves its communities.

This article does a great job describing the different activities that the mentioned departments do to raise awareness about what they do. As I read it, I can imagine many other departments that are doing the same thing.

What did your department do this week? Did you participate in the celebration of your profession? Kudos to you if you did; if you didn't, think about what you can plan for next year, right now.

Like my fellow columnist Kelly Grayson said in his column, we do some of our best advocacy by performing well, day and day out. Public awareness events such as these can build great relationships with the community, who in turn will better support us when we need them.

Along with all of the feel good stuff, we must continue to grow our profession, through advocacy, education and performance, and reducing the threats to it, from stupid, dangerous actions and destroy the public's trust in us.

For this week, let's raise a glass and toast to our successes. Next week, it's back to the work we love.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor 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 writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at Art.Hsieh@ems1.com and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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