(BROOME COUNTY, NY) Surrounded by EMS personnel, County Executive Jason Garnar joined the Office of Emergency Services to proclaim National EMS Week in Broome County. First established in 1974, EMS Week is a time to reflect on the contributions made by thousands of pre-hospital emergency medical care providers across the nation to the health, safety, and well-being of all citizens, and to thank them for that service.
“The men and women of the EMS community don’t do this for the praise, but their work is beyond deserving of recognition,” Garnar said. “The COVID pandemic did not slow down EMS workers from across the county; in fact, they worked harder than ever, putting the needs of our community before themselves, just like they always do. Thank you for your service and dedication to Broome County, we’re grateful for your hard work.”
In Broome County, hundreds of individuals participate in providing EMS to our residents and visitors, and in many differing but complementary roles:
- EMTs and paramedics form the backbone of our EMS system, serving with 10 ambulance services and 23 fire department first response teams across our county. Some of these are career employees, and others unpaid volunteers, yet all are true healthcare professionals.
- Law enforcement officers provide vital rapid medical response and intervention services, including the provision of CPR with AEDs, and the administration of Narcan, when necessary, in combating the opioid overdose epidemic in our communities.
- Flight paramedics, nurses, and pilots staff medical helicopters that transport the most critical patients from accident scenes and between hospitals for specialized, life-saving care.
- Physicians provide medical leadership to the entire system, and with their nurse partners staff the emergency departments, critical care units, and specialty services that are the destinations of those receiving pre-hospital care.
During this past year, EMS providers, along with the rest of the healthcare system, have been faced with the additional and unprecedented challenges of the COVID pandemic. Not only did they continue to provide their usual, vital services without interruption, responding to over 25,000 calls for emergency medical assistance in Broome County, but numerous EMS providers have also stepped forward to provide additional services as COVID testing samplers and vaccinators.
EMS today is facing dramatic ongoing challenges, including uncertain funding, personnel shortages, and increasing demands for its services. These will be met by the same selflessness and determination that has always distinguished EMS throughout its modern history.
“I am excited that we are once again bringing attention to the great work the men and women of EMS do in our community. When our residents experience a medical emergency, an EMS provider is the one to care for them and bring them to the hospital,” said Legislator Scott Baker, District 2.
Director of Emergency Services, Michael Ponticiello stated: “EMS is one of the keystone pillars of our public safety system. They provide expert medical care in the most trying of situations. Many thanks to all EMS providers.”
It is important that all citizens of Broome County take the time to recognize and thank EMS providers and the agencies with which they serve, not only this week but every day.