EMS Week 2013 logoThe American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) kicks off the 40th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week starting May 19th with events in communities across the nation, as well as several national events organized around the theme “EMS: One Mission. One Team.”  EMS for Children (EMSC) Day, focusing on EMS response to children, child safety and injury prevention, will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

EMS providers include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, some paid, some volunteer.  National EMS Week will feature hundreds of grassroots activities coast-to-coast, including safety demonstrations, open houses and CPR classes.

Here are a few ways people can participate in EMS activities at the local level:

  • Disaster preparedness at home Check out ACEP’s new learning adventure game for children. This project was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to teach children the basic principles of home disaster preparedness for a variety of scenarios including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. The game is free.  Visit www.disasterhero.com for more information.
  • Compression-only CPR Studies have shown that early intervention performing CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths can improve the survival rate of people in cardiac arrest. Contact your local Red Cross or American Heart Association affiliate to learn about CPR classes in your community.
  • Early stroke recognition Studies have shown that the early recognition and treatment of stroke improve chances of recovery.  Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this medical emergency by contacting the American Stroke Association.

If you see an EMS professional, shake their hand and say thanks.