EMS Day at Statehouse honors Vermont first responders Tuesday

News Release — Vermont Department of Health
May 20, 2013
Contact: Communication Office, 802-863-7281

MONTPELIER – One of the safest days of the year to have a medical emergency at the State House in Montpelier is May 21, 2013, and you won’t even have to dial 9-1-1. Just yell for help out the front door.

Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Day will bring together first responders from among the more than 2,000 EMS providers along the State House lawn (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) as a part of National EMS Week celebrations.

Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD will read a proclamation at 1 p.m. honoring EMS providers and recognizing the critical role they play every day in saving lives and responding to emergencies.

Nearly 60 percent of the 2,600 EMS responders statewide are volunteers who serve as first responders and with ambulance services in nearly every corner of the state. The event on May 21 will include an open-house with access to the EMS equipment and ambulances and demonstrations on how the equipment is utilized in an emergency.

“The rural nature of our state and the relatively small size of most Vermont communities makes it one of the toughest places in the nation to offer fast, reliable and high-level EMS services,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD, who worked as an emergency room physician for more than 20 years in Rutland. “EMS is a key component of our public health efforts and everyone associated with emergency medicine respects and appreciates the work they do.”

EMS providers also educate people about hazards such as fall prevention for the elderly, proper car seat use for children and infants, and wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle.

“Vermonters count on EMS as their community healthcare safety net. When people are not able to access healthcare any other way, they know that dialing 9-1-1 will bring them a response – anytime and anywhere,” said Chris Bell, director of the Health Department’s Office of Public Health Preparedness.

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