SPRINGFIELD, ILL (WICS/WRSP) — When you call 911, paramedics are usually the first on the scene.
This week, they're being celebrated.
National EMS Week runs from 21-27.
NewsChannel 20's Julia Rosier got to ride along with MedicsFirst and see what this week means to them.
National EMS Week aims at celebrating paramedics, EMTs, and EMS personnel.
"National EMS Week is a time to recognize the providers that are out working in the field day in and day out, whether they're brand new to the job or they're veterans, giving back to their communities and again, being able to provide that first medical contact for people at a time of need where they are," Sara Rolando, Director of Operations at MedicsFirst, said.
We got to ride along with paramedics from MedicsFirst in Springfield. They showed us what their day typically looks like when they respond to calls across the capital city.
Kyle Torry has been a paramedic for six years.
"It’s support from the hospitals, even MedicsFirst as well, the community. Just kind of reassurance that they’re thanking us for our service," Torry said.
Torry said for him, this week is about the comradery and reassurance that what he does matters.
"It’s reassurance. It’s a big thank you that I am so appreciative of," Torry said.
This year’s theme for National EMS Week is Where Emergency Care Begins.
MedicsFirst said the number of calls of service increased by nearly 1,200 from 2021 to 2022. They said it averaged out to 34.6 calls per day last year.
"When someone calls 911, the first medical contact that person has are the ems providers and we may not be able to completely fix the problem. but ideally, we're going to stabilize the situation," Rolando said.
This week marks the 49th annual National EMS Week.
MedicsFirst said they are grateful for the support from the community and local hospitals.
MedicsFirst is one of three private ambulance companies in the city of Springfield.
Newly-elected Mayor Misty Buscher has said she plans to look into having a citywide ambulance service.