News Release: May 21, 2014
Vermont Department of Health
MONTPELIER – In honor of the efforts of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and agencies across Vermont, this year’s theme for the annual EMS Week is “EMS: Dedicated For Life.”
EMS Day will bring together first responders from among the nearly 3,000 EMS providers along the State House lawn on May 22 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) as a part of National EMS Week celebrations.
Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD will read a proclamation at 9:30 a.m. honoring EMS providers and recognizing the critical role they play every day in saving lives and responding to emergencies. The Annual EMS Award winners will be recognized in a range of categories. These awards aim to recognize outstanding dedication and service by agencies and individuals.
This year’s winners are: First Response Service of the Year: Lincoln Volunteer Fire Company; Ambulance Service of the Year: Richmond Rescue; Basic Life Support Provider of the Year: Mariah Whitcomb of Thetford Fire Department; Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year: Leslie Lindquist of St. Michael’s College Rescue; and EMS Educator of the Year: William Mapes of Regional Ambulance.
Many of the 2,600 EMS personnel statewide are volunteers who serve as first responders and with ambulance services in nearly every corner of the state. The event on May 21 will include an open-house with access to the EMS equipment and ambulances and demonstrations on how the equipment is utilized in an emergency.
“The rural nature of our state and the relatively small size of most communities makes it one of the toughest places in the nation to offer fast, reliable and high-level EMS services,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD, who worked as an emergency room physician for more than 20 years in Rutland. “EMS is a key component of our public health efforts and everyone associated with emergency medicine respects and appreciates the work they do.”
EMS providers also educate people about hazards such as fall prevention for the elderly, proper car seat use for children and infants, and wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle.
“Vermonters count on EMS as their community healthcare safety net. When people are not able to access healthcare any other way, they know that dialing 9-1-1 will bring them a response – anytime and anywhere,” said Chris Bell, director of the Health Department’s Office of Public Health Preparedness.
# # #