May 21-27 is Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, and today is specifically recognized as EMS for Children Day. This year’s theme is “EMS STRONG: Always in Service,” which for Arizona means a focus on the resiliency, wellness, and safety of EMS personnel.

Arizona’s EMS personnel are an integral piece of our state’s public health and public safety systems, working in a wide variety of settings including: fire services, ground ambulance services, air ambulance services, hospitals and trauma centers, law enforcement agencies, military bases, industrial facilities, schools, and sporting facilities, among others.

I am always encouraged and impressed by the resiliency of our EMS community. This flexibility enables them to think quickly, accurately, and skillfully in performing lifesaving procedures, day or night, in dangerous situations. Each year, Arizona’s 18,500 EMS personnel collectively provide life-saving care to Arizona’s 6.5 million residents and 40 million visitors by responding to more than 500,000 EMS calls for service.

ADHS is committed to being a resource for EMS personnel and is in the process of building a statewide resource program focusing on emergency services personnel resiliency, wellness, and safety. In the next few months we will announce new resources to assist our EMS community with improving wellness and safety, including information on an inaugural conference. Please join me in thanking the Arizona’s EMS personnel during Arizona’s observance of EMS Week 2017.