The Jackson County Commissioners recently ushered in another week-long recognition of local emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, declaring May 15-21 as EMS Week.

Jackson County EMS Director Chris Johnson and Assistant Director Dustin Coffman were present for the Tuesday morning, May 17 meeting. Johnson spoke briefly about some of the activities that were planned for the local EMS personnel throughout the week, including the presentation of service awards for five- and 10-year employees, and various gatherings for food, including an ice-cream social on Friday, May 20, which will involve prizes being doled out to staff members.

Prior to the reading of the proclamation, Commissioner Jon Hensler commended the Jackson County EMS team.

“You do a tremendous job,” he stated. “It’s one of those thankless positions. But when someone needs your services, they have to be able to rely on the fact that, when they dial that number, not only is someone going to pick up, someone is going to come who is competent at handling such situations. Your folks do it well and we appreciate that.”

Commissioner Donnie Willis added, “In a world where it’s getting harder and harder to find people, I want to commend you guys on the job you are doing. You’ve made changes to try and adapt and do more with less. People are apt to point out one negative thing and ignore the dozen good things, but you guys do a lot of good.”

Commissioner Paul Haller echoed those comments while also recalling his direct tie to the EMS field.

“EMS still holds dear to my heart because I became an EMT shortly after high school,” he explained. “That was the start of my career in the medical field, which led to a military career. That experience also helped me get a promotion when I enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Thank you for what you do.”

The proclamation adopted during the May 17 meeting notes the fact that members of EMS teams are “ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Commissioner Hensler read, “The members of EMS teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills. It is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of EMS providers by designating EMS Week.”

This year’s EMS Week carries a theme of “EMS: Rising to the Challenge.” As part of the Commissioners’ proclamation, they included a call to the Jackson County community to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.