Did you know that May 17-23, 2015 is National EMS Week? There are over 825,000 certified EMS providers in the United States. In addition to being an exciting job, it’s also a dangerous one – with an estimated 27,800 ED visits annually by EMS providers as patients themselves!
While donating to a local rescue squad is a great way to show your support for EMS Week, I can tell you from first hand experience that a simple gesture to say “thank you” goes a long long way to keep an EMS provider motivated and inspired.
TeamLouka Gets a Sweet “Thank You”
A few years ago on a hot Summer day, Amir and I were dispatched to a house for a child having a seizure. The little girl had a history of frequent seizures, so her parents were pros at giving her Diastat, her emergency medication designed to stop a seizure. By the time we arrived just a few minutes later, her seizure had stopped, and her Dad just asked that we check her vital signs. He had spoken to her Neurologist who agreed she could stay home if her heart rate, blood pressure and breathing were all stable. Fortunately, everything checked out ok, so the family was able to avoid another hospitalization.
As we collected the equipment and marched back downstairs, we heard the Dad pop the top on two bottles and shout “I really want to thank you both!” Hoping not to embarrass or insult him, Amir and I discussed the best way to tell him we couldn’t accept an alcoholic “thank you” while on duty. As we rounded the corner to the kitchen, we saw him holding two ice-cold bottles of Coca-Cola. We drove away feeling appreciated and recharged – ready to take on whatever 911 call came next.
Hopefully you won’t have to have such a close encounter with your local EMS providers, but don’t let that stop you from giving the next crew you see a pat on the back.