During National EMS Week, we are recognizing the important role our members play in ensuring citizens in communities across the country receive the best patient care anywhere.

The IAFF’s theme for EMS Week 2020 is “Our Community’s Frontline” to highlight the work you are all selflessly performing with the new threat of COVID-19. In these unprecedented times you remain on the frontline for your communities, managing the risks to keep people safe. No matter what the emergency, no matter the time of day or night, you are ready and able to provide the time-critical skills to respond and deliver care to people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Even before the late 12th District Vice President Emeritus Dominick Barbara led the charge in 1986 to establish the IAFF EMS Committee, our union was working hard to improve pre-hospital care in the United States. As early as 1927, the City of Los Angeles was providing rescue ambulance services. In 1940, fire fighters in the City of Columbus, Ohio, became first aid certified. The first paramedic education program began in 1969 in Miami, Florida. These examples, and many more, highlight how progressive our members have been in meeting the needs of the communities we serve. Learn more about the evolution of EMS on our IAFF History website.

Although your missions change as community needs change, you constantly adapt and continue to push on, stronger than ever. This week is to honor you, as well as remember those we have lost in the line of duty in service to our communities.