(LAWRENCE COUNTY) – This week will mark the 46th annual National EMS Week which is from May 17-May 23.
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.
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.
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.
Emergency medical responder programs and skills have expanded over the years.
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.
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.