LifeNet is celebrating National Emergency Medical Services Week May 17- May 23, honoring all EMS, first responders, fire and police. Here is a little history of this event.

In 1973, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS, its practitioners and the important work they do in responding to medical emergencies. Back then, EMS was a fledgling profession and EMS practitioners were only beginning to be recognized as a critical component of emergency medicine and the public health safety net.

A lot has changed over the last four decades. EMS is now firmly established as a key component of the medical care continuum, and the important role of EMS practitioners in saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest and trauma; in getting people to the hospitals best equipped to treat heart attacks and strokes; and in showing caring and compassion to their patients in their most difficult moments.

Whether it’s the team at Grady EMS in Atlanta who had the expertise to transport the nation's first Ebola patient, the volunteer firefighters and flight medics called to search for and rescue survivors in the Everett, Wash. mudslide or the thousands of EMS responses that happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week and don't make the news, EMS is there for their communities at their greatest time of need.

LifeNet, Inc is a not-for-profit corporation providing cost effective, high quality ground and air ambulance services throughout Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, and Central Oklahoma. The company’s emergency medical services and non-emergency ambulance operation currently respond to more than 61,000 annual calls and covers more than 4,500 square miles with a fleet of 54 Mobile Intensive Care units (MICU).