This week, May 19 – 25, is the 45th annual National EMS week.
In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities. The National Association of EMT’s (NAEMT) collaborates with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to lead annual EMS Week activities.
EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.”
“Our theme this year is EMS Beyond The Call, so one of the things we do is beyond the call, other than just our normal 9-11 response, is community advance sessions like this,” Wash. Co./J.C. EMS Capt. Mike Skowronski said. “So hands-only CPR is a way that we can teach the community, at a simple level, to recognize when someone is in cardiac arrest and they need interventions. If we can eliminate a lot of the factors of the breathing and all the other components that are involved with full CPR and just limit it to the basics of compressions only, we get more interaction of the public to intervene when they see someone collapse.”
Skowronski has spent this week traveling around the area teaching people how to do hands-only CPR and discussing the importance of doing more than just calling 9-11. Hands-only CPR can greatly help without going into full CPR. And it seems the word is getting out.
“We’re actually seeing that now with the push of this, getting the public more involved, when we do arrive at a cardiac arrest scene, seeing someone have the confidence to intervene,” Skowronski added. “Whether it is a loved one or someone they saw collapse, it’s making a big difference.”
National EMS Week will conclude with demonstrations at the Jonesborough Community Center and The Mall at Johnson City.