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Celebrating 40 Years Of EMS Week: NHTSA Letter

May 19, 2014

This year marks the 40th anniversary of EMS Week, the celebration of the commitment and dedication of the EMTs and paramedics who daily serve the needs of thousands of people across the nation, often under harsh and trying circumstances. This year EMS Week is May 18-24.

Perhaps a few readers were involved in EMS in 1974 and helped celebrate the first EMS Week. Included are a several photos from that era when I served as an EMT in rural Montana and worked for the State EMS Office, when many ambulances really were just modified hearses with lights and sirens. We've come a long way since then and our job here at NHTSA is to continue to support the improvement of EMS—and the care ultimately delivered to a patient — on a national level.

Support for EMS Week comes from all sources, including the President of the United States. In last year's proclamation, President Barack Obama, wrote:

"When Americans find themselves in times of crisis — from car accidents to national tragedies — our robust network of EMS professionals ensures that quality medical care is only moments away. This week, let us RECOMMIT TO SUPPORTING EMS personnel and thanking them for their heroic contributions to our lives."

This year, as every year, we here at the Office of EMS will stop during EMS Week to recognize the dedication of the men and women who make up the EMS community. Please join us in that effort in your own communities.

In this edition of the EMS Update, you will find suggestions for how you can celebrate EMS Week, links to planning guides and EMS Week Ideas from both the American College of Emergency Physicians and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as information about how our staff and Federal partners will recognize EMS Week.

Once again, thanks to all the people of EMS who have dedicated so much to this profession.