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To Those Who Go Beyond the Call: An EMS Week Thank You

By Courtney Chumley

With the arrival of EMS Week, comes a great opportunity to reflect on this year's theme: Beyond the Call, Crews and Caregivers placing service above self. It makes me incredibly proud to be part of a profession that recognizes these moments. However, as a manager it also has made me wonder how many moments are taking place every day that we miss. 

This theme makes me realize we can do a better job of recognizing many of the efforts by our EMS providers, and I am grateful that we have an entire week dedicated to doing just that. I truly believe that caregivers in our profession are stepping up every day without expectations to go above and beyond, and we can all do a better job of saying thank you to our colleagues. These moments can be the smallest of gestures that mean the world to someone else, or a huge effort made possible by entire departments joining forces. 

Recently, we had a young child who had suffered burns to his face, chest, and hands who was screaming in pain and fear. As we were drawing up Ketamine for him I hear this seemingly out of place song start playing … “baby shark…doo do…”  I look over to find one of the medics had started playing the video on his phone for the child, calming his fears in a matter of seconds.  It was a such a sweet moment to witness.

Not long ago, we had a medic crew deep clean the house of an elderly couple who were no longer able to care for themselves while we arranged assistance for them. Just recently, I received a phone call at 2am from a crew to let me know they were going to be extended on scene because they were at a house with a brand new teen mom who didn’t know how to safely put her child to sleep or how to feed the newborn. The crew decided to stay on scene to provide education and help her get her feet under her. 

I follow our neighboring EMS agencies on social media and my heart is genuinely proud to be part of a profession as they share their stories of medics installing wheelchair ramps, building driveways to better access their patients, and taking groceries home after transporting patients to the hospital.

Our own QA/QI coordinator is overwhelmed with the amount of personnel that ask him to follow up on their patients each day because they care and want to know the outcome.  

This career was never just a job to us.  It is who we are on duty, and it is who we are on our days off.  There are millions of acts of kindness we will never know about because we don’t share the high fives as often as we share the tragedies.  But, this week we get to celebrate the good that comes from our providers making the extra effort.

This week is a thank you to every single one of you who show up each day to do a thankless job and step up to do more than what is asked of you. This week is a thank you to every single one of you that have been off duty, but found someone in need and provided assistance. This week is a thank you to every single one of the services that have made mental health a priority so your providers could come back to work each shift ready to go Beyond the Call.

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Courtney Chumley

Courtney Chumley

Courtney is the District Chief of EMS at Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, as well as a Regional Client Development Specialist at Pulsara.

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