Trending Topics

White House petitioned to rename EMS Week

Paramedic explains why he launched a White House petition to rename the annual recognition event to EMS Prevention Week

Paramedic Sean Hannon is petitioning the White House to change the name of Emergency Medical Services Week to EMS Prevention Week. We explored the effort and motivation in a question and answer with Hannon.

What inspired you to launch your White House petition and ask for President Obama’s support?
Working as a paramedic, I see a large number and broad array of preventable injuries. I also see that the fire service established a Fire Prevention Bureau and introduced Fire Prevention Week in an effort to reduce preventable, senseless burn injuries. I undertook the challenge to rename EMS Week to EMS Prevention Week in order to raise the focus on the educational aspect of injury prevention.

Why do we need to change EMS Week to EMS Prevention Week?
The general public has a limited understanding of the meaning or purpose of EMS Week. And I think over the years we, as EMS professionals, overlooked the purpose of EMS Week as well.

Amending the name to EMS Prevention Week gives the public a much clearer definition and understanding of the meaning and purpose of EMS, which should focus more directly on the educational aspect of injury prevention programs.

What is your EMS background and role?
In 1984, I became interested in EMS which led me to pursue paramedic training at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I received a degree in EMS, as well as my paramedic license in 1988.

I started working as a full-time paramedic while attending Southern Illinois University, where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management. When I completed my degree, I began working for the Chicago Fire Department, where I have spent most of my career. Soon I expect to be pursuing a graduate degree in Public Safety Administration.

Do you see this effort as replacing the EMS Strong and EMS week efforts of the American College of Emergency Physicians and NAEMT?
No, far from it. I am not trying to replace the work of these extraordinarily, prestigious institutions. I am simply trying to amend the given name ‘EMS Week’ to ‘EMS Prevention Week.’

How can EMS providers learn more, sign the petition and support this effort?
Please visit the petition at White House We the People website to learn more and sign the petition. Please share the petition with your friends in the field.