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PA Secretary of Health Announces 'Emergency Medical Services Week,' May 18 - 24
Date:5/16/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emergency Medical Services Week, May 18 - 24, is an opportunity to highlight the dedication of Pennsylvania's first responders and encourage more citizens to become trained EMS volunteers, according to state Secretary of Health Dr. Calvin Johnson.

This year's theme, "EMS: Your Life is Our Mission," emphasizes that no matter what the emergency is or when it occurs, EMS is there to provide immediate, life-saving care and transportation.

"EMS Week is an opportunity for the citizens of Pennsylvania to recognize EMS practitioners for the many hours they spend delivering urgently needed care in your community," said Dr. Johnson. "The Department of Health is committed to adequately addressing the challenges that our dedicated EMS practitioners and first responders face every day."

The Department of Health will commemorate EMS Week during an event in the state Capitol Rotunda at 11 a.m. on May 22. The event will include a discussion of proposed improvements to the state's EMS Systems Act.

The Emergency Medical Services System includes first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nurses, and physicians. These professionals staff the nearly 3,500 air and ground ambulances, hospitals, medical command centers, EMS education institutes, poison centers, certified Trauma Centers, injury prevention and public education programs; all important components of the entire EMS system, which remains well connected through a complex communication system and the 911 centers.

Approximately 51,000 EMS practitioners are currently certified in Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Pennsylvania EMS system responded to approximately 1.8 million patients -- the equivalent of 205 patients every hour.

Recent improvements to the EMS system include new, high-tech education opportunities, the implementation of statewide treatment protocols and improved abilities to support emergency response to all hazard threats.

Dr. Johnson reminded citizens to thank and support local EMS responders for their continuing dedication to serving the public.

For more information about EMS Week or the EMS Systems Act, visit http://www.health.state.pa.us.

CONTACT:

Stacy Kriedeman

(717) 787-1783


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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