Phoenix/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on May 23, 2024
Arizona Honors EMS Heroes with Dedicated Week and Celebrates Achievements in Emergency CareSource: Google Street View

As New Yorkers are enjoying the balmy weather that May ushers in, out in Arizona, it's a time of quiet reflection and fervent gratitude for those on the front lines of emergency care. Governor Katie Hobbs recently marked the calendar in honor of these heroes, designating an entire week to celebrate the state's EMS and trauma system providers. According to a post on the Arizona Department of Health Services' Director's Blog, from May 19 to 25 we’re talking Emergency Medical Services Week, with a special spotlight on May 22 as EMS for Children Day.

Over the past half century, the Grand Canyon state's commitment to evolving its EMS and Trauma System has been nothing short of diligent. Chronologically ticking off milestones like the creation of paramedic training in 1974, to the establishment of the Arizona Emergency Medical Services Council four years later and the universal adoption of the 911 number system in 1983, they've come a long way. In 1994, the State Trauma Advisory Board (STAB) was formed, and following in the footsteps of these initiatives, 2005 saw the approval of Arizona's trauma center designation rules and standards. A particularly significant leap was achieved in 2011, when the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) launched Arizona’s EMS registry (AZ-PIERS), collating vital prehospital care data.

This year's festivities, under the theme "Honoring Our Past, Forging Our Future," not only look back on the strides made but also herald the vision for what lies ahead. The ADHS isn’t just resting on its laurels; it's rolling up its sleeves with stakeholders to implement critical response and prevention initiatives—like the Naloxone Leave Behind Programs and revising state rules to adapt to the changes in EMS and trauma care.

And let's not forget the individuals who make it all happen. For their tireless response to more than a million annual emergency calls—spanning heart attacks, traumas, and even heat-related incidents—the ADHS Bureau of EMS and Trauma System is recognizing some exemplary Emergency Medical Care Technicians (EMCTs). Tipping their hats off to the likes of Daniel Malanowski, Russell Smith, Dan Wallace, and Tim Maple, each clinching the EMCT of the Year title for their respective regions. These folks are the unsung heroes who make a life-or-death difference daily. The state urges everyone to join in sending a "thank you" their way, rallying the community behind these outstanding examples of service and dedication.

With progress and grateful hearts, Arizona's commitment to evolving emergency care and public safety endures. As we steel ourselves against the various health crisis that confront our communities, everyday heroes don't just get the job done—they redefine what it means to care for our neighbors. For more details on the heroes or to grab a slice of the action for yourselves, take a moment to drop by the Director's Blog and see what's shaking for Emergency Medical Services Week in Arizona. Trust, your heart will feel a little fuller for it.