National EMS Week is a time to bring together local communities, hospitals, and medical personnel to publicize EMS and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services on medicine's "front line.” The national theme of the May 16 through May 22 celebration is “Caring for our Communities,” and that could not be more fitting in the City of Allentown.
Allentown EMS is an all paramedic advanced life support service that responded to more than 16,100 calls for service in the COVID-19 world of 2020.
Allentown EMS has been on the front lines of the public health vaccination efforts. Paramedics support the vaccination clinics daily and provide in-home vaccinations to homebound Allentown residents. “In a time where we are answering a record number of emergency calls, our paramedics have managed to find time to help our community in non-traditional ways,” said Eric Gratz, EMS Chief of Operations. “I cannot be more proud of our paramedics during these historic times.”
“I commend Allentown EMS for the outstanding service they provide, especially over the last year or so,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “They put their own lives at risk answering COVID-19 calls and since January they have been a vital part of our vaccination program. The community could not be better served.”
President Gerald Ford designated the first EMS Week in 1974 to celebrate EMS workers and volunteers and the important jobs they perform across the nation.
Due to the ongoing vaccination efforts and the lingering gathering restrictions from Covid-19, EMS will be foregoing a formal ceremony this year for EMS Week. “The gratitude from the residents we have assisted is an amazing thank you for the work that we do” added Gratz.
EMS may provide both basic and advanced medical care at emergency scenes and while en route to a hospital. More than just a mobile intensive care ambulance service, Allentown's paramedics are involved in numerous public service specialty teams such as HAZMAT, police ERT, Technical and Urban Search and Rescue, water rescue, and our dive and bike teams.
The Allentown EMS fleet includes eight ALS equipped ambulances with three advanced life support ambulances that are staffed around the clock with one additional ALS ambulance operating during peak call-volume times. The shift supervisor responds to calls 24 hours a day in an ALS quick response vehicle.
National EMS Week also illuminates the thousands of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nurses, and physicians who make-up a complete system designed to save lives.
For more information visit the Allentown EMS webpage at www.allentownpa.gov or call 610-437-7531.