National EMS Week is the perfect time to honor your local EMS professionals and promote awareness of their everyday service to the public. Here are 30 inspiring ways that your organization can celebrate EMS Week.
Schedule Stress Reduction and Mental Illness EducationTake care of your crew by educating them about stress reduction and mental illness to reduce the stigma that prevents EMS providers from asking for help when they need it.
Hold an EMS Safety CourseEvaluate your EMS service’s safety data and utilize it to employ safety education programs tailored to the needs of your service and the community. An example is NAEMT’s EMS Safety course, which teaches students how to protect themselves and their patients while on the job. It promotes a culture of safety and helps reduce the number of on-the-job fatalities and injuries. https://www.naemt.org/education/ems-safety.
Host a Servant Leadership DayPlan a special event where agency management serve personnel. One idea: managers wash employees’ cars or serve a meal to employees.
Set Up a Rider Alert ProgramGet involved in existing programs such as Rider Alert, which provides free identification data cards that help first responders provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to motorcyclists involved in serious accidents. Find additional information at https://raaems.org/motorcycle-safety-program/
Participate in the Worldwide CPR ChallengeAcross the United States and overseas, people participate in the CPR Worldwide Challenge. Plan events surrounding this challenge to train individuals, organizations, businesses, bystanders or students in your community. You could even reach out to beachgoers, grocery shoppers or sports spectators. Set up simple training using a manikin and teach bystanders compression-only CPR. Find more information on the ACEP website.
Host an EMS BBQInvite EMS professionals in the area to a special BBQ celebration in their honor.
Get Creative for a Good CauseGlacier County EMS in Cut Bank, Montana, has hosted EMS Night at McDonald’s, where EMS personnel serve food and take orders. They’ve also done full-service bagging and carry-out at the nearby Albertson’s grocery store. All donation proceeds go to a special cause such as buying bike helmets for local children.
Hold an EMS Coloring ContestThis is perfect for younger children. Award prizes for the top winners.
Offer a Citizen EMS AcademyThis is ideal for young adults to learn the ins and outs of EMS and could serve as a career education.
Hold a Shopping Mall EventMalls are a great place to park an ambulance to offer education and demos.
Host a Survivors’ ReunionReunite and honor survivors of near-fatal cardiac events with the men and women of EMS who saved their lives. This type of event always proves meaningful to survivors and EMS personnel.
Host a Family Fun EventParents will appreciate a fun day for their children that they don’t have to plan. Many children’s entertainers have adapted to social distancing and mask rules and will put on a show or lead an activity that follows guidelines.
Light Up the Night for EMSIn years past, the Empire State Building has partnered with FDNY to celebrate EMS Week by lighting the top of the building in yellow, white and blue. Set up a special building lighting in your community to celebrate EMS.
Plan School VisitsEvery year, Siouxland Paramedics in Sioux City, Iowa, meet with young students to teach them about the EMS profession. Their community outreach helps kids develop trust in the local EMS professionals to take care of them and their loved ones. Plan something comparable in your area.
Host Vehicle ToursTravis County Star Flight in Austin, Texas, invites the public to check out (and get into!) all the helicopters on display, along with rescue and firefighting equipment. Visitors can talk with the flight crew and watch helicopter demos, including patient rescues and water drops.
Organize an EMS Open HouseOffer public education presentations and training or offer to speak to local groups to share why EMS is a valuable part of your community.
Host an EMS College BowlThis friendly competition can be held with crews from different shifts or other area services. Plan sporting events and athletic challenges. Add an extra challenge by including an EMS skills competition as well.
Give Out Grab and Go Lunches or SnacksEMS staff appreciate healthy food and drink choices, and this accommodates all schedules.
Read and Promote EMS Blogs and PodcastsThere’s often no better way to learn than from your peers. Join the online community of EMS professionals who chronicle their experiences every day by reading EMS blogs and listening to podcasts – or even consider starting your own!
Plan an EMS for Children Education DayRemind your personnel about the EMS for Children resources and materials such as webinars, podcasts or publications to make sure they’re up to date on the specialized needs of treating children.
Organize a Stop the Bleed DayOrganize a community hemorrhage control program by placing bleeding control kits in public places like near an AED and offer training programs for citizens. Find more information at https://www.stopthebleed.org/
Plan a Car Seat and Seatbelt EventHost a child restraint inspection event where EMS professionals can teach families how to transport children safely.
Plan a Memorial Event or a Moment of SilenceRemember colleagues injured or killed in the line of duty with a public ceremony or a moment of silence. Another way to honor fallen EMS practitioners is by participating in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride.
Host an Awards DinnerThis special event can recognize an EMT and Paramedic of the Year, as well as other awards for EMS professionals.
Thank your FamilyGive gratitude to your family by taking some time off during EMS Week, relax and be present and attentive with the ones you love.
Put It in WritingBuy a billboard to thank practitioners for going above and beyond the call.
Have a T-shirt Design ContestAsk for submissions of EMS-themed designs, then have employees vote to select their favorite. Print the winning design on T-shirts, which you can give out as EMS Week gifts.
Hire a Food TruckFind a truck that offers local specialties. This event can be outside and socially distanced. You might need to host your event on two separate days to make sure everyone has a chance to attend.
Host a Blood DriveWork with the American Red Cross, which has experienced nationwide blood donation shortages. If possible, offer those who donate a small gift or EMS Week incentive.
Hold a Virtual Tour of AmbulancesPost it on social media. Since you can’t invite school groups and other members of the public in, bring the ambulance to them, virtually.
Teach First On The Scene (FOTS)First On the Scene is a four-hour course designed by NAEMT and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) that prepares the public to respond to medical crises that may occur in everyday circumstances or during mass casualty events such as shootings or motor vehicle collisions. Topics include bleeding control, treating anaphylaxis with epinephrine auto-injectors, using naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, among others.
Recognize a CPR Save or Another Life-Saving RescueFew moments are more meaningful for EMS practitioners than meeting someone whose life they helped to save. Bring together the crew, the person who was saved and their family. If they’re willing, share the story with the media.
Participate in the National EMS Memorial Service and Weekend of HonorThis event is scheduled for July 22-24, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. The purpose of the National EMS Memorial Service is to remember and honor those emergency medical services personnel who have died in the line of duty and to recognize the ultimate sacrifice they have made. For more information, please visit national-ems-memorial.org.