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EMS Week celebrates front line workers

Dear editor,

This is National EMS Week (May 16-22). It’s the one week set aside each year since 1974 to celebrate EMS professionals and the work they do in communities across the country.

The theme for this year’s National EMS Week is, “This is EMS: Caring for Our Communities.” And, EMS professionals have certainly shown over the last year just how much they care about the communities they serve: They’ve often been the first health care point of contact for so many COVID-19 patients. Working on those dangerous front lines, they donned their personal protective equipment, comforted patients, treated patients and transported patients. And, they did it all over again when the next call came in.

They did it without complaint. They often did it with a hint of fear in the back of their mind. But, they knew that you, me, our families and all of our neighbors were depending on them. They did what public servants do — they acted.

Even before the public health emergency, the job of EMS professionals was a difficult one. There were the long hours. The sometimes low pay. The accident scenes that can never be erased from the mind. But, if you ask most EMS professionals why they do what they do, they won’t hesitate for a second in their response. They do it because they want to help people. They do it because they love it. In fact, most couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

And so, during National EMS Week, the staff of the Kentucky Office of Rural Health want to offer our sincere thanks to the EMS professionals in this community and other communities across the Commonwealth who, day in and day out, respond to the calls and needs of their neighbors, no matter the hour. We’re proud of the work you do, and we’re forever grateful for your service.

Scott Helle

Rural Outreach Coordinator

Kentucky Office of Rural Health