This week is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, and those of us in the Department of Homeland Security are proud to recognize the EMS responders across the country who serve on the front lines of emergency healthcare. These men and women have chosen to answer the call of a career that demands passion, purpose, and heart. Each plays a critical role in our nation’s health security.
At the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), we are committed to strengthening the nation’s EMS system. We do this by identifying EMS needs and potential solutions, such as drafting federal guidance to help community first responders save more lives in response to improvised explosive and active shooter events.
We are also creating resources to help the EMS community better recognize the medical indicators of human trafficking, in support of the DHS Blue Campaign.
For DHS EMS providers, we are collaborating with components to develop training and peer-support programs focused on managing stress and building emotional resiliency, and are working to enable cross-state recognition of EMS credentials.
Our veterinarians are creating a “first aid” medical care manual for working dogs, and a K9 EMS educational curriculum to support dog handlers’ operational efforts.
This past year, I also presented the Chief Medical Officer, Life Saving Award to 34 DHS employees in recognition of their extraordinary actions that directly made the difference between life and potential death.
To all EMS providers who have been called to care, we salute you! Please take care of yourselves so that you can continue to take care of others.