Letter: The best way to celebrate National EMS Week is to thank our EMS professionals

Submitted by Sherm Syverson
Crookston Times

    May 16-22 is the 46th annual National EMS Week. In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate emergency medical service professionals and the important work they do in our nation's communities. This year's theme is This Is EMS: Caring for Our Communities.

    EMS is most easily recognized when emergency vehicles or helicopters are seen responding to emergency incidents. But EMS is much more than a ride to the hospital. It is a system of coordinated response and emergency medical care, involving multiple people and agencies. The full portrait of what EMS does is much more complex, diverse and nuanced. A comprehensive EMS system is ready every day for any kind of emergency.

    Over the last year, the pandemic has given people a small glimpse of the vital role of EMS professionals play. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, air transport team members, emergency medicine physicians and nurses - as well as those behind the scenes - have rightfully earned our admiration and gratitude.

    Quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury. Members of emergency medical services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education courses to enhance their lifesaving skills.

    We are grateful for all the EMS workers in each community and across our region who tireless work together to keep our communities safe. We understand the challenges you face, day in and day out, and know the COVID-19 pandemic has made the work you do even tougher. You are committed to patient care and we are committed to ensuring you are equipped, educated and prepared for whatever the future holds.

    Please join Sanford Health in celebrating National EMS Week and thanking  all EMS professionals for serving their patients and communities with remarkable dedication, commitment and courage.

    Happy National EMS Week!

Sherm Syverson

Executive Director, Emergency and Trauma

Sanford Health – Fargo