41st annual national observation salutes, supports emergency medical services personnel
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Thursday by Erie County Commissioner of Emergency Services Dan Neaverth Jr., Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein, and emergency services personnel from around Erie County to celebrate "EMS Week" in Erie County.
Celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, National EMS Week 2015 is observed May 17-23 as a way to celebrate and honor emergency medical service practitioners across the country as "everyday heroes" whose service to their communities is a vital part of this nation's overall emergency response.
"EMS personnel are essential and indispensable components of successful emergency response. These men and women are the first on the scene at the most critical times, handling crisis situations and assisting however necessary," Poloncarz said. "This week, we are honoring and celebrating these community servants who give of themselves to strengthen our community. They are quiet, everyday heroes, and Erie County is blessed to have them working on our behalf."
President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week in 1974 as a way to celebrate EMS practitioners and the vital work they do in responding to medical emergencies. At the time, EMS workers were only beginning to develop into the critical components of the public health safety net they are today. EMS week highlights the teamwork of dispatchers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, paramedics and all emergency department professionals. The week also provides an opportunity for public education on the ongoing professional development, training and education all emergency personnel complete to handle emergency situations.
Neaverth Jr. said, "We would like to salute the thousands of paid and unpaid EMS professionals that selflessly dedicate themselves to serving our community. From the initial dispatch to the response by EMS and fire, to the transport and emergency room care, this team effort assures county residents timely, definitive care 24/7, 365 days a year."
Burstein added, "I am pleased to recognize our Erie County first responders, from our dispatchers that respond to calls, to our emergency medical technicians, firefighters, paramedics and emergency personnel in our local hospitals. They are on the front line in emergencies and disasters, and it's an honor to pay tribute to them for their dedication and commitment to our community."
For more information on the Erie County Department of Emergency Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/emergencyservices/. For more on the Erie County Department of Health, visit http://www2.erie.gov/health/.