In recognition of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, celebrated from May 19-25, New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd acknowledged the commitment and dedication of the more than 25,000 EMS providers throughout the state.
"New Jersey's EMS professionals put their lives on the line every day to respond to more than 1 million calls and are available around the clock, " said Commissioner O'Dowd. "The work they do daily, as well as during events like Superstorm Sandy, saves lives. It is fitting that we are recognizing their valiant service during National Emergency Medical Services Week."
Governor Chris Christie issued a proclamation thanking New Jersey's EMS professionals for the services they provide to protect the health and save the lives of state residents.
National EMS Week is sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians as an opportunity to educate the public and raise awareness about the critical role played by emergency medical responders around the country. The nationwide theme of the week is "One Mission, One Team."
A single day - May 22 - has been designated as EMS for Children Day, recognizing nationwide efforts to improve pediatric emergency care while encouraging everyone to be advocates for child safety and injury prevention. Children require specific equipment, supplies, and medications that may not always be available in emergency systems designed for adults. Governor Christie also issued a proclamation that emphasized the importance of providing services to children.
Additionally, the Office of Emergency Medical Services honored the state's top EMS professionals before a crowd of over 350 people at its annual awards ceremony at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital held last night. Deputy Commissioner of Health, Dr. Arturo Brito, helped present several of the awards that were provided to 35 EMS professionals and agencies in 22 categories.
The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is also conducted during this week to recognize those EMS professionals who have been injured or lost their lives in the line of duty. To bring awareness to the EMS profession and to raise funds to assist families of fallen EMS professionals, the ride began in Rockland, Maine on May 18 and will conclude in Philadelphia on May 24. The New Jersey leg of the ride will begin in East Brunswick on May 24.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Medical Services was formed in 1967 and is one of the oldest such offices in the country.
New Jersey has more than 25,000 certified Emergency Medical Technicians staffing licensed and volunteer ambulance services. In addition, New Jersey has more than 1,600 certified paramedics who staff Mobile Intensive Care Units and respond to the most critically injured patients.
Copies of Governor Christie's proclamations are available at:
Governor's Proclamation: Emergency Medical Services Week: http://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/documents/2013_ems_week_proclamation.pdf
Governor's Proclamation: Emergency Medical Services for Children Day: http://www.state.nj.us/health/ems/documents/emsc_day2013_proclamation.pdf