Sunday, May 17, 2020, marks the start of EMS Week 2020, an annual week-long initiative to promote public safety among all New Yorkers and celebrate the life-saving efforts of more than 4,400 members of FDNY’s Emergency Medical Service. The FDNY celebrates each year in conjunction with National EMS Week.
“EMS Week is a time each year when we stop to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous work of our EMTs and Paramedics. COVID-19 has forced us to postpone or cancel our events this year, but I think every New Yorker – and those around the world – have witnessed the heroic efforts of our members during this pandemic and realized why they are rightfully known as “the Best” in our city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
“The training, professionalism, and unwavering dedication to care for their patients have been on display each and every day as they have shouldered the highest call volume in our Department’s history. I am incredibly proud of their remarkable service.”
Due to COVD-19, events which normally take place during EMS Week were postponed or cancelled, including the annual EMS Competition which featured teams of EMTs and Paramedics from all five boroughs competing in skills-based scenarios, and the Second Chance Ceremony, which would reunite cardiac arrest survivors with the EMS members who saved their lives.
EMS Week 2020 Poster
Each year during EMS Week, the FDNY unveils a poster which is intended to raise greater awareness about the life-saving work of FDNYs EMTs and Paramedics. This year’s FDNY-developed poster’s theme is “Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow,” and it focuses on the EMS response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 poster features seven members of the FDNY Emergency Medical Service, pictured as they responded in their assigned PPE to calls throughout New York City.
Featured members include:
- FDNY Paramedic Xiaotian Bao, Station 8, Manhattan;
- FDNY EMT Michael Watenberg, Station 4, Manhattan;
- FDNY Paramedic Juan Gavilanes, Station 31, Brooklyn;
- FDNY EMT Jasmine Miranda, Station 46, Queens;
- FDNY EMT Davidson Tout-Puissant, Station 8, Manhattan;
- FDNY Captain Lorena Concepcion-Martinez, Station 55, Bronx;
- FDNY Paramedic Kimberley Laychock, Division 5, Staten Island.
Each day during EMS Week 2020, FDNY’s social media platforms will spotlight these members and share in their own words why they are proud to serve as a member of FDNY EMS. In addition, FDNY social media will present items from the NYC EMS Museum at Fort Totten that demonstrate the history of the Emergency Medical Service in New York City. Throughout the pandemic, the Department’s social media platforms have featured stories from the men and women of EMS who have been responding to a record-breaking number of medical calls.
Official FDNY social media accounts can be found @FDNY on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Images from this year’s poster will also be displayed on the exterior of the NYC Fire Museum, located at 278 Spring Street in Manhattan. Though the museum is currently closed, New Yorkers can share their gratitude with members of FDNY EMS for their extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 crisis, but submitting notes, videos, and cards, or other objects through the FDNY Museum’s “Unmasking Our Heroes” project.
For more details on the “Unmasking Our Heroes” project, please visit here.
A digital version of the poster will also be displayed on LinkNYC kiosks citywide.
Medical Emergency Information:
At the height of the pandemic in New York City in late March/early April, the number of medical emergencies each day surged by as much as 50%, from a pre-pandemic daily average of approximately 4,000 emergencies each day. The single busiest day ever was March 30, 2020, when EMTs and Paramedics responded to more than 6,500 calls.
This record-setting call volume comes after FDNY EMS responded to a record high number of medical emergencies in 2019—1,531,870—up from 2018 when they responded to 1,529,569 emergencies.