WASHINGTON — The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is promoting two new consumer campaigns in this year’s EMS Week: The World CPR Challenge and Safe Citizen Day. EMS Week’s theme for 2017 is “Always in Service,” and is intended to raise awareness of and celebrate the men and women of emergency medical services (EMS), such as paramedics, EMTs and other first responders.
“EMS Week salutes the professionals who rescue people in their communities and bring them to the emergency department,” said ACEP’s president, Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP. “They do an incredibly tough job and all emergency physicians recognize their contribution to the team sport that is emergency medicine. This year we are asking the public to take a few steps to be prepared for an emergency by participating in the World CPR Challenge and Safe Citizen Day.”
The World CPR Challenge was created to address the severe shortage of people who are trained to perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. More than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest annually and most of them die, but survival rates can double or triple if CPR is performed on them right away. For more information about CPR, visit ACEP’s consumer site, emergencycareforyou.org.
“Our goal with the World CPR Challenge is to train one million people in bystander CPR during EMS Week, May 21st through 27th,” said Dr. Parker. “Groups around the country are training people how to assist in the ‘chain of survival’ by recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest and providing compression-only CPR until first responders – like EMS – arrive. The training only takes 1 hour and we strongly urge everyone to find out who in their community is offering the training and take it! You could save a life.”
Continuing the theme of emergency preparedness during EMS Week, ACEP is announcing Safe Citizen Day is May 23rd. ACEP is recommending that individuals and families develop a disaster response plan before disaster strikes, and offers trips on assembling a family disaster supply kit as a great first step. ACEP’s consumer site, emergencycareforyou.org, has numerous resources to help people prepare for a disaster, including a video game for children called Disaster Hero.
“It’s never too early to prepare for a disaster, since they so often come without warning,” said Dr. Parker. “We hope all Americans will devote some time on May 23rd to becoming safe citizens by preparing a disaster response plan or at least discussing evacuation routes or communications plans with family and friends. Disasters are very frightening but being prepared for them ahead of time can make them a little easier to manage.”
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency physicians and the millions of patients they serve. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.