Yuma, Arizona - 2020 is the 46th annual observation of EMS Week, with this year’s theme being “EMS Strong: Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow” 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.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, a proclamation will be read regarding Emergency Medical Services Week in the City of Yuma. Also during the week the Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, and Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year from the City of Yuma Fire Department will be named, as well as other recognitions. Look for additional emails and social media posts.

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.

There will be a daily health and safety focus throughout the week. Please contact Public Information Officer Mike Erfert for more information.