EMS workers across the country race to homes, businesses, and car crashes every day to help others during an emergency. Stopping and thanking them during an emergency isn’t usually the first thing on someone’s mind, so there’s a week dedicated to showing them appreciation.

Jamie Hennessee, a paramedic and manager for CCMH’s ambulance department, has been working in this field for 22 years now and said every call leaves an impact on her.

“I’ve learned a lesson from every call,” Hennessee said. “On every call, I learn something new, and because of that, it helps me become a better practitioner, so I’m better prepared for the next one.”

During National EMS Week, which is celebrated during the third week of May every year, the theme for this year was: “THIS IS EMS: Caring for Our Communities.” She said they not only focused on the crew in the ambulance, but also the people working behind the scenes dispatching them.

“This gives us an opportunity to really give back to our crew members and recognize them for their hard work and dedication to this field and profession,” she said.

Hennessee said it also gives them the chance to reach out to the community and offer safety tips regarding medical emergencies.

“Wear your seatbelt,” she said. “Wear your seatbelt. Don’t text and drive. Obviously sunscreen, protection from the elements and stuff like that.”

Hennessee said the crew members are not only committed to the profession, but they’re also committed to the people and the communities that they serve.

“We went through a lot of issues with staffing and so forth over the last year due to COVID at moments, so it’s been great to see the crews come together and show up for the community and each other,” she said.

Whether it’s National EMS week or not, you can always let them know that you appreciate them. Hennessee said many of them will be shy and say it’s just their job, but it means a lot to have someone say something.