To show appreciation for the hard work of their Emergency Medical Service workers, La Porte Hospital celebrated EMS Week with an open house-style lunch on Tuesday. All area EMS providers were invited.
“An EMS career is stressful and intense. It’s easy sometimes to wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing,” said Keely Goolsby, RN, Manager of the La Porte Hospital Emergency Department and organizer of the event. “We want the EMS to know the hospital and community values their service.”
Small gifts were laid out on the tables next to the food for those in attendance. Blue La Porte Hospital T-shirts were stacked next to mugs that read, “This guy saves lives” or “This gal saves lives.”
La Porte Hospital relies on the EMS system to help transport people whose care would either be delayed or neglected without help from the EMS, said April Bisaga, ER and EMS medical director at La Porte Hospital.
“It’s important to thank them not just this week, but every day for the job they do,” Bisaga said. “They do a fabulous job, and that allows us to do our job better.”
For most of the year, EMS workers don’t feel a need to be recognized for saving people, which is why President Gerald Ford thought it was important to create EMS Week in 1974, said Andrew McGuire, La Porte County EMS administrator. McGuire and many of the La Porte County EMS crews attended the La Porte Hospital appreciation luncheon Tuesday. Although no one enters the job to be praised, McGuire said they are grateful for the little bit of thanks they are given during EMS Week.
“It’s an unexpected gift, that’s how this feels,” McGuire said.
The La Porte County EMS will hold their own awards ceremony on Thursday morning to recognize EMT, Paramedic, and First Responder of the Year, as well as a Citizen’s Award for a community member who performed an outstanding lifesaving act in the past year.
Each year, the EMS Week celebration grows more relevant as EMS workers are called to perform at higher rates with increased expectations.
Between 2015 and 2016, the number of calls directed to La Porte County EMS went up by 1,400, said Captain Jeff Koon. Despite this, it is important for them to keep the same quality of care that they have strived to maintain over the last 40 years of Koon’s service.
Koon described the group as a family and said it takes real emotions, like compassion and understanding, to make sure their needs are also met when dealing with community members.
“To get that family to work, it takes more than just some policies and procedures,” Koon said.
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