Letter: Thank EMS providers, learn how to be first link in saving a life

Recently, during the week of May 19 to 25, Maryland joined the rest of the nation in celebrating National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Consistent with Gov. Larry Hogan’s strong commitment to public safety and the well-being of all Marylanders, he has recognized the dedication of EMS workers throughout our state and designated that same week as Emergency Medical Services Week in Maryland.

At every moment of every single day, throughout Maryland there are hundreds of men and women standing at the ready to help in cases of medical emergencies.

These modern-day heroes are the fabric of our statewide emergency medical services system, a national model designed to save lives and reduce the disabling effects of injury and illness. They are emergency medical dispatchers, firefighters, emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, cardiac rescue technicians, paramedics, and hospital emergency staffs. They are career personnel and incredibly dedicated volunteers who complete specialized training and hundreds of hours of continuing education. They make themselves available at all hours to help people they do not know at their worse and most vulnerable times. They make our communities better places to live and work.

We value and applaud their expertise and unwavering commitment.

Every Marylander should join the celebration by learning to help. Each of us can be the first link to saving a life. Know when to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Learn CPR. It’s not difficult. Find out how to “Stop the Bleed.” Know what to do. We all have a vital role to play in the emergency medical services system, making it possible for our EMS heroes to do their very best work. We challenge everyone to get involved and be the one to make a difference in helping to save a life.

The people of Maryland should be proud of their emergency medical services system and its EMS clinicians. Please join us in congratulating them on an important job well done.

Theodore R. Delbridge

The writer is the executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS).

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