EMS Prevention Week White House Petition

EMS “Prevention” Week

Please visit: https://wh.gov/io9hf 

I am writing to you to offer a proposal to amend the given name, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week proclaimed by President Gerald Ford in 1973, to EMS Prevention Week.

Every year during the third week of May, EMS Week celebrates and expresses appreciation for first responders, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.  Yet in the course of their work, EMS professionals are often frustrated and demoralized by the need to treat so many unnecessary and avoidable injuries and “accidents”.  Former Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, Jan K. Carney, MD, MPH, made an astute observation.  She said, “For too long, there has been widespread acceptance of the idea that injuries are just “accidents”— random acts of fate or the result of individual carelessness, rather than a phe­nomena to be understood and prevented.  Research and experience show that, in fact, many injuries are completely preventable.”

From Jan Carneys observation, “the high incidence of these preventable injuries limits EMS professionals’ availability to treat patients with conditions they are professionally trained to treat.  As a result, both the EMS workers’ professional fulfillment and societies’ need for their services suffers.” 

EMS Prevention Week, modeled on “Fire Prevention Week”, would afford us a natural opportunity to enhance public safety by increasing education and awareness of pre-hospital injuries.  EMS Prevention Week could become a nation-wide event, much like Fire Prevention Week, where local and regional organizations and agencies reach out to children, their parents, teachers and schools, churches, synagogues and mosques, other local institutions, and the general public to create educational and awareness programs to reduce the incidence of preventable injuries.  I believe that the programs will grow organically, with local communities and organizations designing educational programs, such as their own Bureau of EMS Prevention Unit, to meet the needs of their local populations. 

Refocusing EMS Week on education and prevention of avoidable injuries would empower the community and enhance public health and safety.  It would also increase the morale and the level of skill and experience in the professional EMS community.  This would truly honor those persons involved in rendering emergency medical services, while improving community health and safety.

The petition, EMS “Prevention” Week opens May 01, 2016. We must obtain 100,000 signatures between May 01, 2016 and May 30, 2016.  Please visit: https://wh.gov/io9hf  to learn more and sign the petition.


Sean Hannon

Retired Paramedic

Chicago Fire Department                                                                                    Please Forward                                                           

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