Valdosta Daily Times

May 23, 2013

Thank you, EMS

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — We always pull over for them, but we rarely seem to thank them. Most of our encounters with emergency-medical services occur while driving. The ambulance siren wails. We pull over our cars and wait for the ambulance to pass. Then, we drive on to our destinations.

Other encounters include the sound of a distant ambulance drawing near. We look up from what we’re doing. We watch for the approaching sound, continue watching as the ambulance passes, then may crane our necks to continue watching as far as we can before we turn away from the window or turn back to yard work.

On other occasions, we encounter EMS during the worst moments of our lives: heart attacks, car wrecks, injuries. We are too busy hurting, too busy worrying for our loved ones. When we have the time to gather our senses, to recuperate, to mend, to heal, to consider giving thanks, EMS has already moved along to the next person in need.

This week is National Emergency Medical Services Week. It started Sunday, May 19, and continues through Saturday, May 25. This year’s theme: “EMS: One Mission. One Team.”

“National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s ‘front line,’” according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.

We should also take it as an opportunity to say thank you to these individuals. If you see an EMT or a paramedic or any EMS personnel, take a moment to let them know their efforts are appreciated. If you don’t see them this week, tell them when you do see them.

But be quick. They likely won’t be still long as they rush to answer another emergency call.