BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Started in 1974, National EMS week is a time set aside to show respect and honor medical service workers.
This year’s theme is Caring for Our Communities, which has been especially important this past year as EMS workers had to cope with the increased challenge brought by COVID-19.
Jan-Care for instance is one local EMS service that’s gone above and beyond this past year.
“There was a huge increase in the amount of risk and uncertainty, and our crews stepped up brilliantly during that time,” said Paul Seamann, Director of Operations at Jan-Care.
Jan-Care responded to roughly 100,000 calls last year, and with 80 ambulances in their fleet, they are always ready to help the people of southern West Virginia.
“It depends on the crews being well-trained, being responsive, getting out there and treating our patients with respect. We couldn’t be more proud of what our EMS crews do day-in and day-out.”
As a way to recognize emergency service workers, the American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress back in March, sets aside $100,000,000 for supporting the mental health of first responders, including EMS workers.
And that extra help comes along with the slow return to normalcy. EMS workers are looking forward to getting things back to normal and interacting with patients on a more personal level, without COVID boundaries.
“I think COVID restricted some of the interactions we could have with patients. Everyone was masked up, it’s hard to see the passion just in somebody’s eyes. Over time, being able to remove some of those barriers is going to help.”