As proclaimed by Governor Bob McDonnell, May 19-25 is EMS Week in Virginia, celebrating emergency medical services responders' heroic efforts and commitment to saving lives.
During this week, the Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services recognizes the dedication of more than 1,200 EMS members, as well as first responders in the city’s Fire and Police Departments. The EMS Department also will hold its annual EMS Awards and Recognition Program. Nominations in several categories are peer-reviewed and the selected recipients will be revealed during the program.
Virginia Beach EMS is the largest volunteer-based third-service agency of its kind in the country. In 2012, VBEMS responded to more than 40,000 calls for service, and the volunteers saved taxpayers more than $8.2 million. We commend their continued commitment to the citizens and guests who visit the city and to the entire Emergency Response System. We are especially thankful for their lifesaving efforts, not just during this special week, but every day.
This year's theme – One Mission, One Team – is very close to the motto used by Virginia Beach EMS for more than a decade: 10 Rescue Squads – 1 Mission. It captures the tireless efforts expended by all first responders as they work together to help those who are injured or ill. They work long hours, weekends and holidays, often taking time away from their families to respond to calls for help. Their daily tasks are enduring and their lifesaving efforts are heroic.
This week, the Council of Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads and Sentara hospitals in the city will have baskets of “goodies” available around-the-clock in the city’s three hospital emergency departments for ERS members to enjoy. It’s a token of appreciation that will be well received by crews who may not get a meal break when call volume is high.
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