In 1973, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS, its practitioners and the important work they do in responding to medical emergencies. In Nova Scotia, a strike had been avoided and the newly formed Ambulance Operators Association of Nova Scotia established itself as the voice of pre-hospital professionals. Over the next forty decades, change would not come quick enough for the association. Frustrated that EMS was being overseen by departments with no health care background or experience, EMS was a fledgling profession and many felt its only value was a drive to health care.
Today EMS is now firmly established as a key component of the Health Department and unlike never before, it is being recognized as a critical component of emergency medicine and part of the health care system.
Today we are supported by the Nova Scotia Health Department and Emergency Health Services. Throughout Canada, we are supported by the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada which in 2007 launched a national campaign to support paramedics working from coast to coast. May 25-31 became known as Paramedic Services Week. This year we will be focusing on our “Expanding Care” in EMS.
The Nova Scotia Paramedic Society hopes to bring together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.” We feel there is no better moment to celebrate our 183 years of continuous advanced care pre-hospital medicine in Nova Scotia, than this week.