BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - It's National EMS Week - a time to thank emergency medical service workers in our communities.
"You go out there. You do it to help your friends, your family, and your neighbor. It's a great feeling," said Brian Mullis, Director of Emergency Medical Services at Northern Light Mayo Hospital.
Each year, National EMS Week allows us to recognize the thousands of EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our communities.
In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS week.
Since then, communities have stepped up to honor those who provide lifesaving services to so many.
"When people see you work on one of their friends or family when they're really seriously ill, they get it. They appreciate it. It's almost like a calling," said Mullis.
For those on the front lines, each day can bring a new adventure.
"You come in here and you really don't know whether you're going to be going to Boston with a patient or doing cardiac arrest in Dedham, or just doing a dialysis transfer. It could be any number of things. That's what's always interested me, and a lot of our folks out here because of that," said Ed Morsehead, Director of Northern Light Medical Transport.
Morsehead says EMS Week celebrations may not be a top priority this year due to COVID-19, but they're still trying to find ways to safely recognize colleagues.
And as for his staff, they're still in love with their work.
Their profession may look a little different around the world but here in Maine, they know they'll always have each others backs.
"Our sense of humor is different but we bond over that. We're pretty close," said Andi McGraw, Supervisor of Clinical Services. "We may be a dysfunctional family but, we become a family and we look out for one another."
The 2020 EMS Week theme is "Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow." A very appropriate theme for a community of people dedicated to helping others with everyday emergencies.
"EMS has a strong future," said Morsehead. The communities need us. We'll be there for them tomorrow, and next week, and next year."