Emergency Medical Services Week recognized in Augusta

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - State Lawmakers joined Maine’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel for their Annual Week of celebration.

“Recognizing the countless individuals who function throughout the state of Maine providing EMS services 24/7 365 days a year,” said Sam Hurley, the State’s EMS director.

The celebration was held at the at the EMS Memorial and education site in Augusta where a wreath was laid in honor of those who worked in the system but have passed.

“EMS is a tough job. no matter how you spin it. going into someone’s home when they are experiencing an emergency,” Hurley said.

Hurley said it is also about the families who supports their loved ones after a difficult day.

“Imagine a young child passing away or imagine someone in a car crash, they are scared, it is tough,” he said.

EMS week is recognized nationally and was first celebrated in 1974. Kevin Mcginnis, president of the Friends of EMS of Maine says having support from law makers is important although it has not been consistent over his 36 years of service.

“It happens that this legislature put the blue-ribbon commission in place, allowed us to have a voice about what we are experiencing and are making sincere efforts to fix some of those things,” McGinnis said.

As a person who started as a volunteer in the system, Hurley says EMS requirements have evolved over the years.

“As you heard today, EMS started with some hour’s paramedic courses, now a paramedic course is over 2000 hours, and so can we still expect people to volunteer when there are so many requirements to get into the field so that I can ensure they are providing high quality medical care for you,” hurley said