Community

EMS Week honors the island's emergency medical technicians

"Anytime. Anywhere. We’ll be there” is the theme for the annual Emergency Services Week of May 16-20, proclaimed by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the San Juan County Council.

EMS Week salutes the services provided every day, under often daunting circumstances, by the 40 EMTs and paramedics of San Juan Island EMS and their 750,000 colleagues nationwide. 

“People know that when they call 911 they’ll get help, no matter what their circumstance,” said Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the ACEP. “Much of what you do isn’t nearly as dramatic as saving a life, but just as important to a patient or family who are facing the unknown with fear and pain. Your presence and caring can have an impact far beyond the expert clinical care you provide.”

The San Juan County Council's proclamation states, in part:

"Whereas, the members of emergency medical services teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 house a day, seven days a week; and Whereas, access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rates ...

“It is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of emergency medical services providers by designating Emergency Medical Services Week.”

San Juan Island EMS Chief Jim Cole said, “I salute all the members of our EMS team for their continuous dedication to our community and to providing professional patient care. We are proud to be constantly increasing the range and volume of services we provide to the community. Newly acquired skills, further modernized equipment, additional transport options, expanded training, and community injury prevention programs are examples of the ever expanding scope of San Juan Island EMS.”

In 2009, San Juan Island EMS provided 980 emergency responses. “But that’s not all we did,” said Lainey Volk, EMS prevention education coordinator. ”As part of our commitment to community safety, San Juan Island EMS trained over 1,200 CPR students and 800 first aid students. We provided 70 free children’s car seats and 60 bicycle helmets. Our marine safety program provided 90 loaner life jackets for use on the docks and boats at Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor.”

San Juan Island EMS is the tax-supported EMS agency serving the residents and visitors of San Juan Island, Town of Friday Harbor, Brown Island, Henry Island, Johns Island, Pearl Island, Speiden Island and Stuart Island. It provides emergency medical services, critical care transport, and injury and accident prevention. The staff of career paramedics and volunteer EMTs is available 24 hour a day. 

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