Paramedics, firefighters scheduled to meet with public for EMS Week

17 May 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting

Emergency medical services are very important in helping to save the lives of people involved in a dangerous incident. Car accidents and house fires are just a few examples of things putting lives at risk. The ability paramedics have to be able to practice EMS could be the difference between life and death.

To recognize the work of EMS practitioners, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Fire Department is scheduled to have an ambulance for display at the commissary parking lot aboard MCB Camp Lejeune Saturday for EMS Week.

Along with the walk-in ambulance display, there will be firefighters and paramedics present providing blood pressure screenings and interacting with the public. Handouts will be available for the children as well.

“(The week) is a recognition of EMS providers across the country,” said Thomas Justice, the EMS chief for MCB Camp Lejeune’s Fire Department. “It also brings together EMS providers with the community so they can educate the public on safety issues.”

The goal is to inform the public about EMS and how important it is in case of an emergency. Justice said it is also a way to enable the public get some face-to-face interaction with EMS providers, since they aren’t seen outside of their job as often as firefighters or police officers.

Justice said EMS is the first medical contact for more than 50 percent of all stroke patients and because of it, another goal they have while at the commissary is to increase public awareness of strokes. They will inform the public of the symptoms of strokes and the quick action needed when responding to someone suffering a stroke.

In the presidential proclamation in 2011 for EMS Week, President Barack Obama explained the importance of observing it.

“EMS agencies are an integral part of our nation’s health security strategy, and they help to build community resilience by strengthening all aspects of the emergency response system,” Obama said. “Whether responding by car, ambulance, helicopter, boat or plane, this diverse group of Americans provide crucial pre-hospital medical care to fellow citizens when they need it most. This week, we take time to recognize the inspiring contributions of our nation’s EMS practitioners and honor their dedication to serving their country and fellow citizens.”