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May 17, 2010

Oswego County celebrates national EMS Week May 16 - 22

Emergency Medical Service providers in Oswego County kicked off the 37th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week with an EMS banquet held at the American Foundry in Oswego Friday, May 14. The theme of this year's EMS Week, May 16 to 22, is "Anytime. Anywhere. We'll be there."

EMS providers include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, fire fighters and police, some paid, some volunteer. National EMS Week will feature hundreds of grassroots activities coast-to-coast, including safety demonstrations, fire truck and ambulance tours, blood pressure screenings and educational programs.

Oswego County EMS providers responded to over 14,000 calls for help in 2009, and are on track to exceed that number in 2010.

"People know when they call 911 they'll get help, no matter what their circumstance," said Jim Jones, Oswego County EMS Coordinator. "One of the great rewards for every rescuer is to be part of the effort that saves a life. The less dramatic actions of EMS responders are just as important to a patient or family who are facing the unknown with fear and pain. Their presence and caring can have an impact far beyond the expert clinical care they provide."

In addition, Child Safety and Injury Prevention Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 19. This annual observance draws attention to the specialized need for pediatric emergency care to ensure that every child in the nation receives the highest quality emergency care possible.

Jones suggests always calling EMS if someone needs immediate medical treatment. To make this decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the person's condition life-threatening?

  • Could the person's condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital?

  • Does the person require the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?

  • Could the distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the person to the hospital? If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," or if you are unsure, it's best to call EMS. Paramedics and EMTs can begin medical treatment at the scene and on the way to the hospital and alert the emergency department of the person's condition en route.

When you call for help, speak calmly and clearly. Give your name, address and phone number; give the location of the patient, and describe the problem. Don't hang up until the dispatcher tells you to, because he or she may need more information or give you instructions.

In addition providing a heartfelt thank you to those who render EMS services, Jones says that "EMS week is a great opportunity to learn more about when and how to use the EMS system in Oswego County."

If you would like to know more about the Oswego County EMS system, or if you would like to find out how to become an EMS provider, call the Oswego County EMS Coordinator at the County Emergency Management Office, phone 315-591-9110.


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