HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — It's National EMS Week, and although things look a little different right now, HEMSI is still making sure their crews are recognized for all their hard work.
Don Webster, HEMSI Community Relations Officer, said, "In the past years, we've had this bay here full of jumping things and we would cook for three days off and on, and this year, because of the protection of the COVID, they are coming through, we are feeding them and delivering to some of our offsite stations as well as we've got some nice gifts for them that we are giving them."
They are being gifted with t-shirts that have a coronavirus germ behind a first responder.
Jill Meyer-Schultz has been with hemsi for about 20 years. She designed the shirts and says they have a special meaning.
"Our theme for our EMS week this year is 'Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow,' so for us Ready Today is just being in our normal uniforms, so the background is them in their normal uniform, and then the Preparing for tomorrow is attacking the coronavirus which is why they're ripping open their shirt to show that emblem," said Meyer-Schultz.
First responders with HEMSI haven't stopped since the pandemic, and it has forced the paramedics to change the way they work and respond to calls.
HEMSI Operations Supervisor Melissa Bozeman has been with HEMSI for 25 years. She said, "As the weather gets warmer, of course, daunting the PPE is, it's very hot, but the crews have really been great."
What these crews do is not easy.
"I worked the UAH shootings, and that was probably the one thing that is going to follow me my entire life," said Meyer-Schultz.
Bozeman said, "Sometimes the darkest hours for someone could also be a very dark hour for our crews, so as a supervisor I always enjoyed being here for the crews and helping them get through those times."
The next time you see an EMS crew, be sure to show your appreciation.