EMS Workers Are Integral to the Fight Against Coronavirus; Just a Few Decades Ago, America's EMS System Didn't Even Exist

  • Source: Time Magazine
  • Published: 05/19/2020 12:00 AM

EMS Week, which takes place in 2020 from May 17-23, is an annual time to recognize the life-saving efforts of emergency medical services personnel. While celebratory events won’t take place in person this year, EMS personnel are getting more recognition than usual: even before EMS week, virtually and during daily cheers for healthcare workers, they are widely hailed as heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. But though sick people have always needed someone to help get them to medical attention, the modern American EMS field is only about five decades old — and can be traced to what one scholarly report called a “neglected epidemic.” As driving, especially highway driving, became a central part of American society, so did accidental injuries and preventable deaths due to inadequate care after car accidents. Doctors were overextended and new types of medical personnel were needed to take some pre-diagnostic tasks off their plates.


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