It’s not just a job

Published 11:04 am Sunday, June 2, 2019

They’re at the scene of every car accident. They rush from their homes to yours at a moment’s notice to stabilize a victim of heart attack, stroke or physical trauma. They deliver the lifesaving medication that reverses a drug overdose. Heat stroke, allergic reactions, dog bites, burns — they treat them all. They’re there when houses burn down and children go missing.

They bring people back from the brink of death. It’s their job.

This week is National EMS Week. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for people working in the EMS field is growing. That need is projected to grow 15% by 2026, much faster than the average for all other occupations in the U.S. The job description is as follows:

  • Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or bandaging a wound;
  • Assess a patient’s condition and determine a course of treatment;
  • Provide first-aid treatment or life support care to sick or injured patients;
  • Transport patients safely in an ambulance;
  • Transfer patients to the emergency department of a hospital or other healthcare facility;
  • Report their observations and treatment to physicians, nurses or other healthcare facility staff;
  • Document medical care given to patients;
  • Inventory, replace and clean supplies and equipment after use.

In Beaufort County, there are many, many EMTs and paramedics who have dedicated their lives to saving the lives of others. Yes, it’s a job, but for most of these first responders, it’s more. It’s a passion.

For many of these employees of rescue departments, the job doesn’t end when the shift ends. They also volunteer with their local departments, in the communities where they live. They are on call, essentially all the time, because the people of those communities know they can seek their help regardless of the nature of the incident or injury.

It’s physically strenuous and emotionally stressful work, often performed in life or death situations, yet their passion is unfazed.

This week is National EMS Week. Take a moment to thank your EMTs and paramedics for what they do every day: they’re saving lives — Beaufort County lives.