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FOR RELEASE: May 9 , 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Ceremony to Recognize Courage of EMS Providers
National Emergency Medical Services Week is May 14-20

A ceremony at the State Capitol will be the setting next week to recognize Oklahoma’s front-line emergency medical services workers as part of Oklahoma’s observance of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, May 14-20.

On Tuesday, May 16, at 11:30 a.m. on the South Plaza of the State Capitol, special recognition will be given to the family of paramedic/firefighter Destry Horton, whoMr. Horton lost his life in the line of duty while fighting wild fires in Oklahoma in early March of this year.

Other recognition will be given to the emergency service organizations that provided services to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita at Camp Gruber and Falls Creek. Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Safety and Security Kevin Ward will be the guest speaker at the ceremony. He will address the commitment of EMS providers to meet the emergency needs of the people by providing lifesaving emergency care to ensure the health, protection and the physical well being of their communities. In addition to these presentations, EMS displays will be available all day on the second floor of the Capitol Rotunda.

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 of those who experience sudden illness or injury. The EMS system consists of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters, educators, administrators, and others.

“EMS providers are available to serve the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they are dedicated to their mission to save lives. It is an honor to recognize the courageous and tireless efforts of our EMS providers,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher.

Oklahoma’s licensed emergency medical technicians, licensed ambulance services, and certified first response agencies are part of the EMS system that responded to 300,000 calls for service in Oklahoma in 2005.

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.

The following Oklahoma EMS services will be recognized at the capitol ceremony:
Muskogee County EMS - Muskogee
Okmulgee County EMS - Okmulgee
EMSA - Oklahoma City and Tulsa
Wagoner EMS - Wagoner
Broken Arrow Fire Dept EMS - Broken Arrow
Mayes Emergency Service Trust Authority - Pryor
Tahlequah City Hospital EMS - Tahlequah
Cherokee Nation EMS - Tahlequah
Grove EMS - Grove
Baptist Regional EMS - Miami
Cushing Fire Dept EMS - Cushing
Oologah - Talala EMS - Oologah
Southwest EMS - McAlester and Wilburton
Integrity EMS - Broken Arrow
EMS Plus, LLC - Broken Arrow
Para Med, Inc - McAlester
Pafford EMS - Claremore
Valley View Ambulance - Ada
Jackson County EMS - Altus
Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service - Ardmore
Creek Nation EMS - Okemah
Medicus - Seminole
Colbert EMS - Colbert
Murray County EMS - Sulphur
Johnston County EMS - Tishomingo
Elmore City EMS - Elmore City
Wadley's EMS - Purcell
McClain - Grady EMS - Blanchard
American Medical Response - Marlow and Duncan
REACT EMS - Shawnee
Konawa EMS - Konawa
Hughes County EMS - Holdenville
Mercy Health - Love County EMS - Marietta
Bryan County EMS - Durant
Lindsay EMS - Lindsay
Coalgate Fire Dept EMS - Coalgate
Pauls Valley EMS - Pauls Valley
EMTRO - Stroud and Prague

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