St. Vincent Healthcare is honoring emergency service (EMS) professionals this week for National Emergency Services Week.
According to the hospital, this week is designed to honor local EMS professionals who humbly provide lifesaving services to the community.
EMS professionals include fire, law enforcement and medical personnel. To honor these individuals, St. V’s hosted a barbecue Thursday afternoon near the emergency department from 11 a.m. to noon. EMS professionals were able to have lunch and chat with other medical personnel.
Lyndy Gurchiek, director of the Laurel ambulance service, said Thursday afternoon that being a paramedic is the greatest job in the world. She has been an EMS professional since 1988 and said that it is important for people in the community to be able to call for help when needed and rely on experienced professionals.
Gurchiek said that it is great to be honored by ST. V’s and the community during this week.
“Being a director, I don’t think people know how much time and effort that EMS providers put into their job and how much passion that they have for it. People literally volunteer their time for people that are sick hurt in the community,” said Gurchiek.
Gurchiek also noted the challenges that have been faced this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said it was hard for all facets of the medical field, but she said the crews handled the changes very well.
Barry McKenzie, St. Vincent Healthcare trauma medical director, said Thursday that EMS professionals face a bulk of the challenges day to day.
“We are kind of the end of this. I always joke, we are in the shiny castle. The EMS folks are the hard workers. They get up, they respond, they work in all different environments and conditions, and they really have a tough job,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie said EMS professionals are the source of vital information when a patient is brought to the hospital. He said when a trauma patient comes in, they take a “trauma timeout”.
“We listen to the paramedic because they are the ones on scene. They are the medical providers to that patient. They know more than anybody else in the room,” said McKenzie.