It's National EMS Week! Originally established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, National EMS Week was moved to the 3rd week in May in 1992. This week provides the opportunity, for EMS organizations and practitioners, to bring awareness to and educate the public about their local EMS operations. It also gives the public and organizations the chance to honor those dedicated to serving the community.
This year's theme, EMS: More Than a Job. A Calling, demonstrates the idea that EMS practitioners don't choose to serve the community for selfish needs, like fame or fortune, but rather their genuine need to help others and concern for the community.
What is your agency doing?
Getting the word out to the public about your EMS agency is very important, especially this week. Are you prepared? Will you be active in the community - offering free blood pressure screenings, giving students ambulance tours and advocating EMS as a career? Providing crew appreciation events, like free lunches or sporting event outings? Keep the following 3 groups in mind when planning your events: local community, non-ems medical personnel, and your EMS personnel.
EMS Week Event Checklist
The ACEP provides the following checklist for planning your EMS week.
- What is the vision and purpose behind your event?
- How will you accomplish your goals?
- How many people do you anticipate will attend the event?
- Do you have a location that will accommodate this number, will you need an alternate location?
- Will your city require a special event permit?
- How much money will the event cost to produce?
- What is the scope of your event? Will your event highlight individual providers, or highlight EMS agencies in general? Will your event focus on other community agencies that will increase public awareness of EMS Week?
Last Minute Ideas
As EMS week is here you may be looking for some last minute easy to implement ideas:
- Health tracking challenge – Challenge your staff to start a fitness program or track calories for better eating. Start a tracking board and reward those who stay on the bandwagon.
- Offer a career goals seminar – Show your staff you care about their career and advancement by explaining how they can move up the ranks and secure better pay.
- Start an EMS Blog – Your crew is already posting on social media and may even have their own blogs. Turn that effort into something that can bring your agency awareness and positive public attention. Get a few volunteers to start writing about their day-to-day experiences (in a professional and HIPAA compliant manner).
- Get active on Social Media – Media should be embraced and used to spread the word about your agencies efforts.
- Have an awards lunch – Recognize the efforts of your crew and publicly award them. Need award ideas: length of service (5, 10, 15 years), most liked, most picked up shifts, best joke teller, best bedside manner, or any other POSITIVE reinforcing award.
- Encourage political activism – Provide info about political hot topics and provide info about writing to legislators.
There are many ideas available to EMS agencies to celebrate EMS week that can be completed without a lot of time and planning. Be sure to visit the following sites from more ideas:
EMS Week Challenge
Your agency has worked hard to plan events this week, make sure you share them and build even more awareness. How?
Second, before, during and after each event this week post about the event,
- What is going on?
- Who is attending?
- Any educational take-a-ways
- Event Benefits
- Don't forget to take pictures and/or video and share that too! (Smartphones take really great pictures and video, someone on your crew will have one.)
Third, tell others. Use mentioning abilities on Facebook and Twitter to get the attention of media, partners, and the public to get even more visibility. After following and liking us on Twitter & Facebook you can use @Traumasoft, and +Trauamsoft on Google+, to let us know about your events and we'll be sure to reply or retweet your post. (Also, when posting to Twitter include the #EMSWeek to join national conversation!)
- Create online profiles
- Share content
- Mention others for greater awareness
We can't wait to read all about this week's events!