ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – May 21 – 27 is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. To kick the week off, air ambulance service Guardian Flight honored emergency services providers throughout Delta County with a cookout.
“There’s a lot of other EMS organizations–fire departments and law enforcement–that help us out quite a bit,” said Guardian Flight base pilot supervisor Nicholas Cox. “It’s kind of the community’s way of saying thanks to them.”
The celebration included everyone, from citizens volunteering in their local departments to full-time workers like the ones at Guardian Flight.
“A lot of times we’ll do inter-facility transfers,” explained Cox. “So if a hospital has a patient that needs next-level care, we can pick up that patient at the facility and then bring them to Marquette, Green Bay, or Milwaukee.”
Emergency care can be a mentally and physically demanding job. According to Cox, the number of employment postings in the region proves that.
“There is a pretty high demand for EMS workers,” he said. “It’s a difficult thing to get into; it’s a difficult thing to stay current with.”
In a place like the Upper Peninsula, Cox says it is critical to have dedicated EMS workers ready to go at a moment’s notice.
“There’s a lot of high-risk sports, whether it be boating, hiking, ATV riding,” he said. “Things can change at the drop of a hat, and the hospital and medical facilities are few and far between, so it’s vital to have people on scene immediately in the following of an accident.”
Cox says the goal of the cookout was to show EMS employees and volunteers that their hard work does not go unnoticed. He also hopes it reminded them of the incredible support system they have in Delta County.
“I just hope that they just get a good appreciation of how many other first responders are in the area,” Cox said. “They usually don’t have an opportunity to get together so that they can meet some of the people from the other organizations that they may or may not work with. They are extremely valuable to the community.”