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University of Utah Health Commemorates 50 Years of Service With Local Emergency Medical Services

Media Contact:

Kylene Metzger
Media Relations Manager, Public Affairs, University of Utah Health

ems 50

University of Utah Health is proud to join the nation in commemorating the 50th anniversary of EMS Week—a time to honor the dedication and sacrifice of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who serve our communities tirelessly.

This week underlines the pivotal role these professionals play in saving lives, preserving public health and safety, and supporting their communities. EMS providers are a critical component of our health care system and the first line of defense in medical emergencies. University of Utah Health takes special pride in acknowledging the invaluable contributions made by these brave individuals.

"I chose to become an EMS physician because I realized that the most acute emergencies occur outside of the hospital—in homes, on the streets, and in workplaces,” said Scott Youngquist, MD, professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director of Salt Lake City Fire Department. “It is here that EMS care can make the difference between surviving to the hospital or dying before you get there.”

Since its inception in 1974, EMS Week has stood as an annual tribute to recognize EMS professionals, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), dispatchers, mental health outreach teams, and other first responders in providing life-saving care during emergencies.

“It's about being there when people need you the most, offering not just medical interventions, but also hope and reassurance in the chaos of emergencies,” said Graham Brant-Zawadzki, MD, an emergency physician at University of Utah Health and Medical Director of Unified Fire Authority. “Every day presents a new challenge, a new opportunity to make a difference in someone's life.”

EMS Week offers an opportunity to express appreciation for their service, valor, and bravery serving on the frontlines of health care.

University of Utah Health encourages everyone to take the opportunity to express appreciation for EMS personnel by learning life-saving skills. Anyone can better support their community through CPR and first aid training, learning to Stop the Bleed, and making a blood donation

“When the trauma system is at its best, it takes the worst moment in a person’s life and turns it into an occasion for hope in the future,” said Thomas Higgins, MD, Chief of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery at University of Utah Health. “The very first step in this journey to recovery is the excellent care of the EMS system and pre-hospital providers. Without their skill and dedication, none of the rest is possible.”

U of U Health proudly supports the EMS community and honors the hard work and commitment of the hundreds of thousands of EMS professionals across Utah and the country. Their unwavering dedication and hard work save lives every day.