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Make EMS Week a year-round celebration

Instead of relegating celebration to a single week in May, consider how to recognize the accomplishments of EMS providers and organizations all year long


Host regular (quarterly or semi-annual) social events to show appreciation for EMS members.


EMS Week has always had two purposes. The first is to appreciate EMS providers. The second purpose is to improve public awareness of EMS contributions.

Like most recognition days, weeks, or months I believe EMS provider 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. Recognize anniversaries

Acknowledge members’ length of service anniversary on the actual anniversary date.

2. Solicit patients and receiving facility staff for testimonial letters

Ask customers for testimonial letters about the service they received. Share the original letter 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.

Thank you notes for kindness and caring are great for morale.

3. Celebrate assessment and treatment accomplishments

Set attainable goals for the accomplishment of specific patient assessment and treatment techniques in one and three month increments. Review ePCRs to assess meeting these goals and recognize successful accomplishment at member meetings or by “all-staff” e-mails.

4. Party, party, party

Host regular social events for members. Quarterly or semi-annual has always felt about right to me.

5. Facebook page

Start a Facebook page or blog for your service. Write about your 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.

Make sure local news reporters know about your organization’s successes, social channels and blog. Invite local media to regularly cover your organization and it’s successes.

6. Regular promotion of news and events

Submit monthly press releases – based on your blog posts – to local media. For EMS public relations, timing is everything.

7. Get out and mingle

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.


Read more

EMS Strong: Telling our story

EMS Week offers a chance to talk to your community about where EMS is today – and where it’s headed tomorrow

This article, originally published May 20, 2009, has been updated

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is the Lexipol Editorial Director, leading the efforts of the editorial team on Police1, FireRescue1, Corrections1 and EMS1. Greg served as the EMS1 editor-in-chief for five years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. He is an educator, author, national registry paramedic since 2005, and a long-distance runner. Greg was a 2010 recipient of the EMS 10 Award for innovation. He is also a three-time Jesse H. Neal award winner, the most prestigious award in specialized journalism, and the 2018 and 2020 Eddie Award winner for best Column/Blog. Connect with Greg on Twitter or LinkedIn and submit an article idea or ask questions with this form.

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