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EMS Week 2016 to conclude with The National EMS Memorial Service May 20-22

Date: 2016-05-16
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From an article by Lucas Wimmer posted at emsworld.com on May 12, 2016 and a news release from the The National EMS Memorial Service dated May 6, 2016.

National EMS Week, held this year May 15-21, is a celebration of the hard work and dedication EMS providers put into their job on a daily basis, and serves as a “thank you” from the community.

However, some events during EMS week serve a deeper meaning. The National EMS Memorial Service, held this year on the last day of National EMS Week, honors 659 EMS personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  The National EMS Memorial will  be on display at the service. The memorial consists of a “Tree of Life” (image, right, from 2014 Memorial Service) and a memorial book. The Tree of Life has leaves inscribed with the name, agency and date of loss of each National EMS Memorial Service honoree, and the memorial book has a page for each honoree as well.

The service began in 1991, and was recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1998 as the official National EMS memorial of the United States.

National EMS Weekend of Honor May 20-22 Agenda

Special events open to the public include: National EMS Memorial Service & National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Washington, D.C.

The National EMS Memorial Service, the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pay tribute to 32 fallen EMS and air medical providers from 15 states during the 2016 National EMS Weekend of Honor, scheduled May 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Va.

There are many activities and events during the three-day 2016 National EMS Weekend of Honor, including two events that the public and media are invited and encouraged to attend as a show of support for the selfless service and sacrifice of the 2016 honorees:

FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016 Arrival & Tribute of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR) • The NEMSMBR celebrates the lives of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as well as those EMS legacy personnel who have died of natural or non employment-related causes. • About 100 EMS Memorial Bike Riders, led by a procession of EMS vehicles, will arrive at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, concluding a trip that began on May 14 in Boston and kicking off the 2016 Weekend of Honor. • Riders are predominantly EMS professionals from across the U.S., and each rider wears dog tags bearing an honoree’s name, agency and date of their loss. • Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Presentation of Dog Tags to the families will occur. The rider will meet the family in front of the honoree’s biography to present one of their two dog tags worn during the ride – an emotionally powerful part of the Honor Weekend. The rider will keep the other dog tag as a lifetime reminder of the honoree’s sacrifice. • The Presentation of the Dog Tags is immediately followed by a short ceremony.

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016 National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS) • The National EMS Memorial Service, a formal ceremony to honor fallen EMS professionals, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. •  Hundreds of EMS personnel from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the NEMSMS, along with friends, co-workers of current and past honorees, dignitaries, EMS and business leaders, and government officials. • All participants in the NEMSMS will be in dress uniform, flight suits, or similar appropriate attire. • Honor Guards, along with bagpipe and drum corps will volunteer their time and services throughout the weekend. • An American flag, sent by President Barack Obama on behalf of a grateful nation, is presented to each honoree’s family along with the NEMSMS medallion. • During the service, a National Moment of Silence will be called at 6:00 PM (Eastern), so that EMS agencies across the U.S. can pause simultaneously in 30 seconds of radio silence to pay respect and remember the fallen—together. • The year’s honorees are highlighted in a special Tribute Video, followed by an uplifting Candlelight Ceremony that concludes the service. • The National EMS Memorial “Tree of Life” will be on display. Bronze oak leaves are engraved with the names of fallen honorees for each year since 1993.

“This year, the National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the conclusion of National EMS Week, which is May 15-21,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “Our nation’s capital area in Northern Virginia is a fitting location for these annual memorial events that commemorate our country’s brave men and women in the field of emergency medical services.”

Additionally, the service will be streamed online at the site next weekend. see: www.national-ems-memorial.org/

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via emsworld.com & The National EMS Memorial Service, 5/12/16)

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