Yuma, Arizona - May 19th through the 25th is National Emergency Medical Services Week (or EMS Week). 2019 is the 45th annual observation of EMS Week, with this year’s theme being “EMS Strong: Beyond the Call” emphasizing the cooperative 24/7 efforts needed to provide effective emergency medical response, support and enhance that response, and care for those who provide care to others.

To further mark this week, and promote public education and awareness, each day we will be highlighting a different aspect of emergency care and safety.

At 5:30 pm on Monday May 20th, a short ceremony will be held at Fire Station #1, 353 South 3rd Avenue. A proclamation will be read regarding Emergency Medical Services Week in the City of Yuma and the Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, and Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year from the City of Yuma Fire Department will be recognized. In addition there will be recognitions of recently hired Firefighters, Co-op students, promotions, and other achievements.

The first EMS Week was authorized in 1974 by President Gerald R. Ford. It is a week set aside to bring greater attention to work being done to maintain the highest levels of emergency medical response. It is also a time to focus on safety and injury prevention, critical care issues, and the partnership between citizens and EMS professionals.

The links in the chain that make up an emergency medical response begin with bystanders (and in many cases even the patients themselves) who are on the scene of a medical emergency. It all starts with prompt and effective reporting, then acting to provide first aid, working with the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) providing information and following first aid instructions.

The links continue through the exchange of information between bystander and EMD to the dispatch, response and arrival of Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to treat and transport patients. The chain of emergency care continues in the hospital emergency rooms where doctors, nurses, and other trained professionals continue the patient care.

In addition to the daily health and safety focus, there will be opportunities for interviews following the ceremony on Monday. Please contact Public Information Officer Mike Erfert for more information.