Celebrate EMS Week, May 15-21
Have you ever noticed the banners that fly over Southern Boulevard in the Township and at Reasoner Park in the Borough each May proclaiming EMS week, and wondered: "what is that about?”
What is EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week? It is a campaign to recognize and inspire EMS personnel, strengthen the profession, and encourage public appreciation for EMS professionals. In Chatham, our Emergency Medical Services personnel are the trained EMTs from the Chatham Emergency Squad who volunteer their time to provide emergency medical services and transport — free of charge — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, responding to about 1,200 calls annually. The American College of Emergency Physicians, in conjunction with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, created "National Emergency Medical Services Week" in 1973 with the support of President Gerald Ford.
Back then, Emergency Medical Services was a new profession, and EMS practitioners had only just begun to be recognized as critical components of emergency medicine and the public health-safety net. A lot has changed since then. EMS is now firmly established as an essential public function and a vital component of the medical-care continuum. On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies including heart attacks, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, stroke, drug overdose, or acute illness. EMS practitioners attend to their patients' medical needs and show caring and compassion to patients in their most difficult moments.
This year's campaign theme is EMS STRONG: "Called to Care", referring to the EMT's everyday call to provide a sense of security and relief during chaotic and challenging situations, and being called upon to do the work that only a select few can do.
To honor national EMS week this year, both the Chatham Borough Council and Chatham Township Committee are awarding a proclamation to the Chatham Emergency Squad as acknowledgment of their service. Accepting the award will be CES President Richard Crater, who has said, "While in the past we have noted EMS week, this year we are doing more to thank our men and women and raise awareness in the public of this special week." According to Mr. Crater, banners and signs will be located around Chatham all week and the Squad will recognize members with a memento at their annual spring picnic. The Squad will communicate with the public through social media and articles such as this one.
When asked how citizens of the Chathams can support the Chatham Emergency Squad during national EMS week, Mr. Crater stated, "We always need volunteers, and of course donations, which are the source of nearly all our funding."
Squad news: Tim Brown wins EMT Excellence Award
Squad member Tim Brown was awarded an EMT Excellence Award by Overlook Medical Center on May 24, 2016. His qualifications are exceptional, including certifications as paramedic and flight nurse, and he flies aboard the NorthSTAR medevac helicopter. He is one of our most prolific responders. Tim is truly an exceptional EMT.