Letter to the Editor

Local emergency responders recognize National EMS Week May 18-24

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The first question I always have to answer is, "What is EMS?"

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services. EMS is the group of people that respond to your medical and traumatic emergencies when they arise. EMS is the front line of medical care. EMS includes the first responders in your local communities and the paramedics that respond in the ambulance. EMS is right there on the front line, treating people here in the Iowa Great Lakes area and throughout the nation where people work, live and play. Oftentimes they are there to provide care, relieve pain and save lives. EMS is the extension of medical care beyond the doors of the hospital and into the community.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of EMS week. We have evolved significantly from that start in 1974. EMS personnel are better trained with more resources, a wider variety of medications, and increasingly better response. EMS is a 24/7/365 service and is part of the definitive care team.

This years EMS Week theme "EMS Dedicated for Life" is especially true in Dickinson County and throughout Iowa. The faces that you see when you call for help are often recognizable because many of those that respond to help have been doing this for years. In fact, we recently have recognized volunteers for 15, 25 and 35 years of service with their different departments, and some of those individuals are still going strong and continue responding to calls.

During EMS Week May 18-24, the Lakes Regional Healthcare Paramedic staff would like to extend a sincere thank you to the volunteers that make up the EMS groups in Lake Park, Terril, Superior, Spirit Lake, Milford and Arnolds Park/Okoboji. Without these dedicated volunteers we couldn't do what we do. If you see an EMS provider this week or at any time of the year give them a smile and tell them "Thanks" -- we sure will. Happy EMS week.

Sincerely,

Chirs Yungbluth and the Paramedic Staff at Lakes Regional Healthcare