AUGUSTA (WGME) – Maine EMS workers were honored in Augusta Thursday.
This week is "National EMS Week," and lawmakers joined EMS workers at the "Maine EMS Memorial and Education Site,” which is a tribute to EMS workers, including those who lost their lives in the line of duty tending to patients.
Maine's EMS director says it's especially important to recognize those first responders right now, who are facing a staffing crisis.
"The emergency room doesn't close when there's no one in the emergency room, it stays open, and much like EMS, people don't go home when there's no one calling the ambulance, and so it's important that we develop a reliable, sustainable system that can provide those services," Maine EMS Director Sam Hurley said.
National EMS Week runs through Saturday.
It was first celebrated in 1974, the year after the landmark "Federal EMS Act of 1973," which established the country's current EMS network.