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Celebrating EMS Week’s 50th Anniversary 

From tourniquets tied frantically in fields during the Revolutionary War to the advent of ambulance services to apps that give first responders life-saving data, emergency medical services have evolved and advanced tremendously throughout our history. Millions of lives have been saved, and millions more touched, by dedicated paramedics, EMTs and other EMS professionals serving their communities in times of crisis. 

They are a light in the darkest of hours, stabilizing situations and instilling trust, comfort, and hope amid chaos, while delivering life-saving care quickly and compassionately.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of EMS Week, which originated in 1974 with a proclamation from President Gerald Ford. The fitting theme for this milestone year is “Honoring Our Past; Forging Our Future.” From May 19-25, communities across the country will celebrate the dedication of EMS workers on medicine’s frontlines.

“‘Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future’ reminds us of the proud history of our profession and contributions of EMS practitioners over the decades,” said NAEMT President Susan Bailey, MSEM, NRP.  “We also must stay focused on the road ahead: evolving, innovating and ensuring that EMS has the support needed to continue to answer the public’s call for help when it’s most needed.” 

“We are thrilled to celebrate and recognize EMS professionals nationwide for their incredible impact on our society,” said Patrick Sheahan, ImageTrend’s President and CEO. “From the launch of our first ePCR tools to achieving more than 10 million transactions in our Health Information Hub, it has been our privilege to support this industry for more than 25 years. We will continue to innovate and provide world-class tools to help EMS organizations deliver life-saving care.”

Agencies and communities across the country can participate in EMS Week with activities, trainings and special events designed around its theme days: 

  • Sunday, May 19: Health, Wellness and Resilience Day 
  • Monday, May 20: EMS Education Day 
  • Tuesday, May 21: EMS Safety Day 
  • Wednesday, May 22: EMS for Children Day 
  • Thursday, May 23: Save-A-Life Day (CPR & National Stop the Bleed Day) 
  • Friday, May 24: EMS Recognition Day 
  • Saturday, May 25: EMS Remembrance Day 

Learn more about EMS Week and ways you can honor your local EMS providers here.

The History of EMS Week

In 1974, President Gerald Ford instituted National Emergency Medical Services Week to celebrate EMS professionals and the essential role they play in our country. EMS Week is presented by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in partnership with the National Associations of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). Together, NAEMT and ACEP lead annual EMS Week activities.

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