Have you ever noticed the banners that fly over Southern Boulevard in the Township and at Reasoner Park in the Borough each May proclaiming EMS week, and wondered: "What is that about?"    

What is EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week? It is a campaign to recognize and inspire EMS personnel, strengthen the profession and encourage public appreciation for EMS professionals. In Chatham, our Emergency Medical Services personnel are the trained EMTs from the Chatham Emergency Squad Inc., who volunteer their time to provide emergency medical services and transport -free of charge- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year responding to about 1,200 calls annually.

The American College of Emergency Physicians, in conjunction with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, created "National Emergency Medical Services Week" in 1973 with the support of President Gerald Ford.  

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On any given day, EMS practitioners help save lives by responding to medical emergencies including heart attacks, difficulty breathing, a fall or accident, stroke, drug overdose or acute illness.  EMS practitioners attend to their patients' medical needs and show caring and compassion to patients in their most difficult moments. 

This year's campaign theme is EMS STRONG: "Always in Service ", referring to the EMT's every day call to provide a sense of security and relief during chaotic and challenging situations, and being called upon to do the work that only a select few can do.  

To honor national EMS week this year, banners and signs will be located around Chatham all week and the Squad will recognize members at their annual spring picnic.   The Squad will communicate with the public through social media and articles such as this one.  

When asked how citizens of the Chathams can support the Chatham Emergency Squad during national EMS week, Tim Brown, the Squad’s VP for Communications stated,  "We always need volunteers, and of course donations, which are the source of nearly all our funding."

For more information visit www.chathamemergencysquad.org