The month of May honors emergency medical service providers
By Daniel Arens
All around the United States, the month of May is used to honor those who provide emergency services in our communities. May 6 through May 12 was National Nurses Week, while May 17 through May 23 will be National EMS Week. In Mercer County, the ambulance and EMS services are largely made up of volunteers.
“The main reason for celebrating EMS Week is for our volunteers who sacrifice precious time away from their family and friends to keep our ambulance service staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Mercer County Ambulance Manager Angie Sayler said. “In addition to keeping our ambulances staffed around the clock, volunteers schedule at least 300 hours a year to be an active member, with some volunteers exceeding 1,000 hours a year to keep our ambulance service staffed. Not only that, to stay nationally registered and up to date with changing medical care advancements, they put in an average of 24 hours of continuing education a year to keep their license.”
The EMS Week national theme is “EMS Strong,” which focuses on making EMS a 365-days-a-year initiative and showing it to be an indispensable part of the health care community. Sayler discussed the shifting of focus within EMS from one where the volume of services offered was the most significant factor in care to one in which the quality of care is emphasized.