Marking National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week (May 17-23), New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd thanked the nearly 30,000 EMS professionals throughout New Jersey for their commitment and dedication to service.
"New Jersey's EMS professionals put their lives on the line every day to respond to more than one million calls and are available 24 hours a day," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "The work they do daily, as well as during extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and snow storms, saves lives. It is fitting that we recognize and honor their valiant and distinguished service during National Emergency Medical Services Week."
Governor Chris Christie issued a proclamation expressing his appreciation to New Jersey's EMS professionals for the services they provide to protect the health and save the lives of state residents.
This year marks the 41st year that the American College of Emergency Physicians is sponsoring National EMS Week in an effort to raise public awareness of the critical role emergency medical responders play around the country. The nationwide theme of the week is "EMS Strong."
The "EMS Strong" campaign is being launched to drive awareness, interest and excitement about the profession.
Also, the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pass through New Jersey on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 19 and 20. The event is a long distance cycling event that memorializes and celebrates those who have lost their lives while helping others.
To ensure the most participation possible, there are four separate rides held across the country. New Jersey will participate in the East Coast route, which runs from Boston, Mass. to Alexandria, Va.
New Jersey Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Christopher Rinn will greet riders as they come in to their rest stop in Princeton on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:20 a.m.
A single day during the week, Wednesday, May 20, has been designated as EMS for Children Day, recognizing nationwide efforts to improve pediatric emergency care while encouraging everyone to be advocates for child safety and injury prevention.
Children require specific equipment, supplies, and medications that may not always be available in emergency systems designed for adults. Governor Christie also issued a proclamation emphasizing the importance of providing services to children. This year marks the 31-year celebration of the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program nationally and the Department of Health's 23rd anniversary of its EMSC program.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Medical Services was formed in 1967 and is one of the oldest such offices in the country.
New Jersey has nearly 30,000 certified Emergency Medical Technicians staffing licensed and volunteer ambulance services. In addition, New Jersey has more than 1,600 certified paramedics who staff Mobile Intensive Care Units and respond to the most critically ill or injured patients.
To view Governor Christie's proclamations visit: http://www.nj.gov/health/ems/documents/ems_week.pdf