Washington, DC—The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) kicks off the 40th annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week starting May19th with events in communities across the nation, as well as several national events organized around the theme “EMS: One Mission. One Team.”  EMS for Children (EMSC) Day, focusing on EMS response to children, child safety and injury prevention, will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
“The extraordinary response by first responders to the bombings at the Boston Marathon illustrated what is best about EMS professionals and their commitment to saving lives,” said the president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Andy Sama, MD, FACEP. “While others ran from the disaster, EMS professionals ran toward the victims to offer life-saving assistance. They didn’t hesitate for a moment to offer help where the need was greatest.”
EMS providers include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, firefighters and police, some paid, some volunteer.   National EMS Week will feature hundreds of grassroots activities coast-to-coast, including safety demonstrations, fire station open houses and CPR classes.  
Here are a few ways people can participate in EMS activities at the local level:
    Disaster preparedness at home
Check out ACEP’s new learning adventure game for children. This project was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to teach children the basic principles of home disaster preparedness for a variety of scenarios including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. The game is free.  Visit www.disasterhero.com for more information.
    Compression-only CPR
Studies have shown that early intervention performing CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths can improve the survival rate of people in cardiac arrest. Contact your local Red Cross or American Heart Association affiliate to learn about CPR classes in your community.
    Early stroke recognition
Studies have shown that the early recognition and treatment of stroke improve chances of recovery.  Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this medical emergency by contacting the American Stroke Association.
EMS Week 2013 sponsors include Genentech, MedicAlert Foundation, Mylan Specialty, Physio-Control, Vidacare, American Heart Association, EMS World, EMS Today, Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), Masimo, Advanced Circulatory Systems, Cryothermic Systems, Emergency Care & Safety Institute, Innovative Trauma Care, Jones & Bartlett Learning and NAEMT. Our federal partners are CDC, FEMA, ASPR/Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC), and NHTSA.
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.