A Healthy Respect for Modern Emergency Medical Services

DRB.fwMay 7, 2012 – American Fork, UT — It is a grand pleasure and honor to again commend and thank the hundreds of thousands of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who serve with distinction consistently 24/7 across the country. EMS, as recognized today, was unimaginable some 40 years ago. In the early 1970s we began identifying the existing system’s deficiencies, from which we described remedies and developed a national consensus for new roles in the prehospital EMS, hospitals, and specialty Trauma and other advanced receiving centers. These would need to be developed and to fit together and operate as a “System.”

EMS personnel are the crucial front line participants of their Regional Trauma/EMS System. They respond under all imaginable conditions, stabilize and evaluate each patient’s condition and start the educated triage and transport on to advanced definite care. Today, EMS personnel are an integral part of the overall system, from planning, resource development, and training to evaluation and research. They perform the entire extra-hospital functions using both Basic and Advanced personnel, ground and air transports, and communications components.

EMS is the front line response for the “unheralded” routine of day-to-day emergencies everywhere. They are also the basis of response and patient care in major disasters like the most recent Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing, where again in “Real Time” and on “Prime Time” the EMS performed in an exquisitely professional and remarkable manner.

I think it is also remarkable that the press and TV commentators now use the Trauma/EMSS vernacular both accurately and knowledgably. EMS names and terms like First Responder, EMT and Paramedic, Trauma Surgeon and Nurse, Emergency Physician and Nurse, Patient Response, Stabilization and Triage, to Level I Trauma and Pediatric Trauma Centers are reported in common and correct use. A subtle but sterling tribute to the recognition and respect the nationwide community has for its EMSS. Excellence in EMS personnel and the reliability of the EMSS is now a permanent expectation throughout our society. The work you do is a highly-respected positioned gained by hard work and excellence in performance.

I was appointed National Director of Emergency Medical Services System in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW) by President Gerald R. Ford in 1974. I was able to convince him to declare the first Emergency Medical Services Week on 4 November 1975. This established a national tradition that was later re-enforced by an EMS Week Proclamation, by President George H. W. Bush and changed the celebration week to May to parallel other national Trauma and EMS activities.

With Congratulations and Sincere Appreciation,

David R. Boyd, MDCM, FACS
NAAMTA Advisory Board Member

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