Have you thanked your local emergency medical providers lately? This week may be a good time to do so.
May 17-23 is National EMS Week, and people across the country are being urged to stand up and take notice of those individuals in our community who are often called upon to save lives and administer aid to those in emergency situations.
"The Bryan County EMS crew is extremely valuable to our community," said Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson. "They are unsung heroes and often go unnoticed. In many cases, the only time some of our EMS workers get the praise they deserve is when they have just saved a life or aided someone in medical distress. I think it’s great that this week has been set aside to acknowledge them."
Anderson is the head of EMS in Bryan County. Directly under him is EMS coordinator Susan Clark and three EMS supervisors: Capt. Brenda Keyfauver, Capt. Thomas Cook and Capt. Scott Terrell. They oversee 24 fulltime and 20 part time paramedics and EMTs.
"We have a tremendous group of guys and gals," Anderson said. "I’d put them up against any other department."
Bryan County EMS answers anywhere from 2,200 to 3,000 local calls per year. They also answer the call of duty when neighboring counties, such as Liberty and Chatham, are overwhelmed. A recent example would be the sugar refinery explosion in Port Wentworth. They operate via the fire stations on both ends of the county. There are two ambulances on each end of the county that are on call 24-7.
Bryan County Commissioner Rick Gardner is the All Hazard Council Chairman for Area 5, which covers all of coastal Georgia. He said the recognition of EMS workers is "long overdue."
"I’m in a unique position to see how hard these folks are working to keep this community safe and, let me tell you, the EMS crew in Bryan County is worth recognizing and tipping your hat to," Gardner said. "We’re constantly striving to upgrade facilities and the number of personnel. We all need to take the time this week to at least stop and think about the importance of EMS and reflect on times where they may have assisted you or people you love."
EMS Week is organized by the American College of Emergency Physicians and supported by a network of partner organizations including the National Volunteer Fire Council. For more information, visit www.acep.org/emsweek.