Hundreds of EMS volunteers and professionals were joined by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, state officials, friends and supporters at the Empire State Plaza today as New York honored the efforts and sacrifices of EMS members.
Each year, New York holds an EMS Memorial Dedication Ceremony to honor EMS personnel who lost their lives in services to others. For the first time since the Memorial was dedicated in 2004, there were no line-of-duty deaths among EMS personnel in the state last year.
"New Yorkers are very fortunate to be served by the brave men and women of EMS, who respond to emergencies day and night," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. "We express our gratitude to the thousands of EMS providers in communities across our state and honor the 42 individuals whose names are forever enshrined on the Tree of Life Memorial. We also give thanks that no EMS lives were lost in service to others this past year and pray for the continued safety of all EMS personnel."
Lieutenant Governor Duffy said, "The EMS community serves a vital role in protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers, yet this service does not come without risks to the responders. We honor the courage, dedication, and sacrifices of all EMS providers and remember those who lost their lives in the line-of-duty. Your many contributions will not be forgotten."
State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., said, "Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide vital pre-hospital care and treatment to individuals who suffer serious illness or trauma, and this initial response has helped to save thousands of lives. We owe a debt of gratitude to the EMS community for the hard work and sacrifices of its members, and proudly pay tribute to them today for their compassion and valuable contributions to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation designating Emergency Medical Services Week (May 20-26) in New York State. Emergency Medical Services professionals include EMTs, paramedics, emergency physicians and nurses, educators and individuals who work at 9-1-1 dispatch centers and participate in the New York State pre-hospital emergency patient care and transportation system. EMS responders must complete hundreds of hours of specialized training and continuing education, and also must maintain optimum standards of medical treatment and urgent care throughout their service career.
There are close to 2,000 EMS response agencies in New York that feature Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support professionals, and nearly 60,000 EMS professionals. Each year, EMS providers handle approximately 2.8 million calls.