In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized National EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the dedication they pour into the work they do for the community. This week, May 17-23, people are encouraged to pause to remember that medical care often takes place outside of the safe, insulated and well-lit hospital environment in emergent situations.

Emergency care can start in a patient’s home or place of work. It can start on a busy sidewalk, in the tangled remains of an SUV, or down a muddy embankment in the rain. The help never takes a holiday, and it arrives without regard for time of day, weather or safety conditions.

This year, the 46th annual EMS Week has the fitting theme of “Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow.” The annual EMS Strong campaign highlights the hard work these professionals provide daily to be recognized at both the community and national levels.

“EMS Week joins together the local communities and medical personnel as they honor the passion and dedication of those who provide day-to-day lifesaving services on medicine’s front line,” said Kathy Kopka, Vice President, Access and Transfer, Lutheran Health Network. “Today and every day, we are thankful for this group of individuals and their tireless efforts in service of their patients, our health care system and the community.”

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