46th National EMS Week Is May 17-23

(LAWRENCE COUNTY) – This week will mark the 46th annual National EMS Week which is from May 17-May 23.

File photo: Fire Departments and police officers respond with ambulance services to both medical emergencies and injuries.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in their communities.

The role of EMS has changed. Prior to the 1970s, most ambulance services were operated by the local funeral home or were a privately ran ambulance service.

File photo: IU Health Ambulance responds to an emergency.

Then, in the 1970s, emergency medical technicians and paramedic courses started providing more in-depth training allowing responders to perform more procedures at emergency scenes.

In the late 1980s, police officers, firefighters, and industrial workers were instructed to respond to medical emergencies in homes, vehicle accidents, industrial locations, and businesses.

File photo: AMR Ambulance responds to an emergency.

Locally, if you have a medical emergency a police officer or firefighter may show up to your home before the ambulance.

The very first emergency medical program for volunteer firefighters in Lawrence County was conducted in 1988. This allowed the fire department to respond to auto accidents and begin care before an ambulance arrived on scene.

File photo: An air ambulance lands on U.S. 50 to transport a patient from an accident scene.

Emergency medical responder programs and skills have expanded over the years.

File photo: Some Indiana State Police cars are equipped with AED’s

One of those skills is learning advanced external defibrillators skills for cardiac arrest patients. The first defibrillators were placed on fire trucks in 1998 in Lawrence County.

Now, many police cars are equipped with these life-saving devices including the Sheriff’s Department, Bedford Police, Mitchell Police, and Indiana State Police.

File photo: Police cars are equipped with Narcan and AED’s to help save lives.

Lawrence County has a large spectrum of EMS workers. We thank the EMTs and Paramedics from AMR Ambulance Service and IU Health Ambulance service, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Bedford Police Department, Mitchell Police Department, Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation officers who serve our community.

We honor all emergency responders within Lawrence County. Whether they be firefighters, police officers, or industrial responders.