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FOR RELEASE: May 12 , 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

EMS - Ready, Responsive, Reliable
National Emergency Medical Services Week is May 15-21

The theme for National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, May 15-21, is “Ready, Responsive, Reliable,” which speaks to the commitment of EMS providers to meet the emergency needs of their communities. EMS providers deliver lifesaving emergency care and work to ensure the health, protection and the physical well being of people.

According to state public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), access to quality emergency care is essential to improve the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury. The emergency medical services system consists of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters, educators, administrators, and others.

“EMS Week honors the lifesaving care EMS providers offer nationwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. State and local health departments are pleased to take this opportunity to recognize the valuable services that EMS providers give to the community under challenging conditions,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher.

Oklahoma’s 6500 licensed Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), 194 licensed ambulance services, and 160 Certified First Response agencies are all impacted by decreasing budgets and increasing demands. Despite the challenges presented by the declining number of EMS providers operating in Oklahoma and especially in rural areas, the Oklahoma EMS system responded to 250,000 calls for service in 2004.

For more information about the activities planned during EMS Week in Oklahoma, contact OSDH EMS Director Shawn Rogers at (405) 271-4027 or your local county health department.

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