EMS Week 2015 Challenge

In 1974, President Gerald Ford declared the first “National Emergency Medical Services Week” as an annual observance to recognize the critical component that emergency prehospital medicine began to play in the public health safety net. That year was a time of many other significant events. Richard Nixon had become the first president to resign in office. The newly formed OPEC consortium successfully constrained production causing a worldwide oil shortage that skyrocketed the cost of a gallon of gasoline to 55 cents. A national speed limit of 55 MPH was imposed to conserve fuel and save lives. The Sears tower in Chicago was opened as the world’s tallest building. It was also the same year that a 1973 Ward LaFrance P80 replaced the original 1965 Crown Firecoach as “Engine 51” in the popular television show “Emergency!” then in just its third season.

In the 41 years since that time there has also been a great deal of change. Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garments such as the Medical Anti-Shock Trousers (MAST) have come and gone while Nitrous Oxide had gone away and may be coming back. Spinal immobilization is being completely re-examined as long back boards are being sidelined and may soon be joined by the hard cervical collar. CPR guidelines are being extended as we work patients longer on scene and the A&E series “Nightwatch” has been signed for a second season.

It is all too easy to say that we do not have any impact on what is happening in the world around us, that things are just happening and it is out of our control. For those who accept they are powerless, it is true. The future always belongs to those who are willing to shape it. Every fact I quoted above only happened because some individual was inspired to make something happen. This year you have the unique opportunity to stand up and be counted. You can choose to be a part of the solution and make your community a better, safer place for everyone. It all starts by you just trying something new. 

Look for 2015 EMS Week activity ideas by downloading the Planning Guide PDF from www.emsstrong.org.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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