The Department of Health and Hospitals, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services will hold its 12th annual Emergency Medical Services Week May 16-20. During the week, fire and EMS crews promote messages of healthy living and personal safety to Louisiana residents and emergency workers are recognized for heroic acts they perform.

Throughout the week, emergency medical professionals will participate in statewide events that focus on lifesaving care. EMS Week is also a time when fire and EMS crews provide vital educational material and training to adults and children on topics such as injury prevention, recognizing an emergency and what to do until help arrives.

The LDH Bureau of Emergency Medical Services oversees EMS workers throughout Louisiana. Dr. Fred Cerise, LDH secretary, says it is important to showcase the skills of EMS professionals.

“This time of the year is a great opportunity for us to educate citizens about injury prevention and safety awareness,” he said. “Serious injuries, automobile accidents, sudden heart attacks or emergency births are examples of situations that require emergency response and transportation.”

One of the week’s highlights is EMS for Children Day, which will be held Monday, May 16 at Independence Park in Baton Rouge. Children from daycare and Head Start programs in the Baton Rouge area will be invited to the park for a day where safety meets fun. They will be entertained and educated with activities that focus on all aspects of safety, particularly fire, water, bicycle and poison safety, using 911 to call help and EMS workers and ambulances. Media are invited to attend and take photos.

“We are delighted to host this event each year,” said Nancy Bourgeois, EMS director. “It is extremely important that safety messages are instilled in children at an early age. It leads to fewer accidents in the home and greater safety of all children and their families.

Some other events of the week include: EMS exhibits at the Capitol, Bureau of EMS Open House, EMS for Children Board Installation, EMS display in front of the Governor’s Mansion and the EMS Recognition and Memorial Ceremony at the Old State Capitol.

What:  EMS for Children Day

When:  Monday, May 16, 2004, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Independence Park
           7500 Independence Boulevard, Baton Rouge