During National EMS Week, we are recognizing the important work our EMS members do in communities throughout the United States. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more challenging for EMS personnel on the frontlines who have continued to provide exceptional patient care.

We encourage you to highlight the role of EMS response in your community using the resources and materials we’ve developed for EMS Week. This toolkit includes social media graphics, suggested posts and a sample press release that can be customized for your local media.

We hope you will use EMS Week as an opportunity to recognize the services and sacrifices of our EMS members and to further raise public awareness of the critical role of EMS in the community.

#EMSWeek #ServingCommunities

Contact [email protected] with any questions or for assistance with IAFF toolkits.

Join us in promoting EMS Week by using the suggested messaging below highlighting your local EMS response system or develop your own messaging throughout the week to show your appreciation to your EMS providers.

Monday, May 17: EMS Recognition and Appreciation Day

General thank you to all fire-based and single-role EMS providers, and dispatchers.

  • This is National #EMSWeek and we recognize the critical role paramedics and EMTs play in serving our communities. #ServingCommunities
  • National #EMSWeek is a time to recognize paramedics and EMTs for their service and contributions to our communities. Thank you for the critical role you play in emergency services. #ServingCommunities

Tuesday, May 18: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Highlight your local response to the COVID-19 pandemic and interaction with public health departments.

  • Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more challenging for EMS personnel on the frontlines who have continued to provide exceptional patient care. Check out these essential tips for EMS professionals today: https://bit.ly/3uC54Od #EMSWeek #ServingCommunities
  • As this pandemic continues, we must remain vigilant. Remember to continue to wear the appropriate PPE. Take care of yourself and each other. #EMSWeek #ServingCommunities

Wednesday, May 19: Community Paramedic/Mobile Integrated Health Program Awareness

Highlight single-role EMS personnel, community paramedicine and your local opioid response capability.

  • This National #EMSWeek, we recognize the critical role our dispatchers across the United States and Canada play in answering emergency calls, sending help and ensuring the safety of all first responders and the public. #ServingCommunities
  • EMS Week is a time to recognize paramedics and EMTs for their service and contributions to our communities. Thank you for the critical role you play in emergency services. #EMSWeek #ServingCommunities

Thursday, May 20: EMS Practitioner Safety

Highlight the importance of EMS provider safety through injury prevention, road safety and safety during civil unrest/assaults/mass casualty incidents.

  • During this National #EMSWeek, the IAFF would like to remind its members that provider safety must be our number one priority. Always remember to follow safety protocol and wear appropriate PPE, drive safely and wear your seat belt. #ServingCommunities
  • During national #EMSWeek, the #IAFF would like to remind its members while operating on the roadway park apparatus to provide a safe zone to operate in, wear reflective vests and use situational awareness. #ServingCommunities

Friday, May 12: EMS Practitioner Health and Mental Well-Being

Promote the need for general well-being through diet, exercise and behavioral health.

  • Just as important as physical fitness, your nutrition is one of the most powerful factors affecting good health. Follow @iaffwfi on Twitter to stay up to date on more healthy resources. #ServingCommunities #EMSWeek
  • Leading a physically active lifestyle is associated with countless benefits that span our physical, psychological and social well-being. #ServingCommunities #EMSWeek

Media outlets are eager for ready-to-go content that is timely and public-safety oriented.

Establishing local media contacts that you can fire off press releases to will help establish solid, positive relationships with the public and local media to ensure they continue to look to their community fire fighters for safety advice all year long.

Use this sample press release (and include one of our social media graphics) to get the word out about National EMS Week.

Be sure to follow-up with reporters and assignment editors to let them know you are available to discuss EMS Week.


In light of the current pandemic, the IAFF wants to remind responders to stay vigilant, wear proper PPE and follow safety protocols.


Fire service personnel not only respond to the opioid epidemic on a daily basis, but they are part of the solution. Community Approaches to the Opioid Crisis focuses on the experience of two IAFF affiliates that have taken an innovative approach to fighting the opioid crisis in their communities.

Civil Unrest

Civil unrest may occur as a period of social upheaval, following sporting events or during periods of heightened community tension. Fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel will be called to respond to these incidents, placing themselves at higher than anticipated levels of risk. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) worked together to compile these best practices to assist you as you respond to civil unrest incidents in your community.

Roadway Safety

Three injury crashes occur every minute in the United States, putting nearly 39,000 incident responders potentially in harm’s way every day. A cadre of well-trained responders helps improve traffic incident response. Better incident response improves the safety of responders and drivers, reduces crashes that occur because of incident-related congestion, decreases traffic delays caused by incidents and can cut incident response time.

Review this free module on traffic incident management from the ResponderSafety Learning Network.


The leading causes of death for fire fighters and EMS personnel are cancer and heart disease. The risks are high and the connection between chronic and preventable disease associated with poor nutrition and obesity are well-documented. In an effort to reduce these preventable deaths and diseases, the IAFF developed a nutrition campaign to bring awareness to the importance of nutrition and its role in fire fighter health. This campaign will engage our members in creating and maintaining healthy eating habits that support fire fighter training, work demands, fitness goals and long-term health.

Behavioral Health

Despite increased awareness of behavioral health problems in the fire and EMS service, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, burnout and suicide continue to plague our ranks.

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a flagship recovery center exclusively for IAFF members struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, substance and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety and other behavioral health conditions to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery. Review the IAFF Center of Excellence Toolkit for more information about the center.