This is a special week to recognize and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of emergency medicine on the “front lines. 

Sunday, May 15th kicks off the 47th annual celebration of National EMS Week.

Through the 21st, EMS Week is a special week to honor those frontline heroes dedicated to providing pre-hospital emergency medicine that saves so many lives every day.

Hamilton County Emergency Services is among the many EMS agencies in the area, that have played a crucial part in saving lives in our communities, but often we don't know what goes into doing those jobs.

Currently, HCEMS operates 16 ambulances strategically placed throughout Hamilton County and 160 Licensed Paramedics, Advanced EMTs, and EMT’s. 

Hamilton County EMS has responded to almost 50,000 calls in the last year. That’s more than 130 a day.

"You hit the road, start running calls. 911 calls don't ever stop. They're twenty four hours a day and that's the reason we work twenty four hours a day,” said Stacie Liles, a Lieutenant with Hamilton County EMS.

Working in emergency management is a high-stress job. Employees are running 911 calls all day long.

"Requires us to know and think on our toes. You've got to be quick and know what to do,” Liles told us.

They can respond to anything from a citizen's arrest to a serious car accident.

Stacie Liles has been with Hamilton County EMS for thirteen years and has worked her way up to a Lieutenant. She got into this career because of the care she received from first responders when she was in a serious accident at twelve years old.

She describes scenes as organized chaos.

"The patient comes first. You work on the patient, and then after the call you take that time with your partner and you talk about it,” she told us.

The emotional trauma that comes with this job can be very impactful. Some accidents are hard to go back to.

She was the first on scene at the deadly Woodmore school bus crash in 2016. The pain from that day was too hard for Liles to talk about, which is why she says there needs to be more mental health awareness in first responders.

Her co-workers get her through and hearing from people she's helped make the days worth it.

"To know that we a difference in a patient's life or in a family's life, that's what means the most to us," Liles said.

This year’s theme is “RISING TO THE CHALLENGE”. This theme is particularly meaningful as it reminds our nation that EMS professionals are faced with so many challenges today and continue to RISE above them. Through it all, HCEMS continues to respond, support and strive for our goal of “Setting the Standard of Care”.

National EMS Week starts on Sunday, May 15th and runs through next Saturday, May 21st. If you happen to see a first responder next week, be sure to thank them.

Reporter/Weekend Evening Anchor

Mary Francis Hoots joined the Local 3 News team as a reporter in September 2019. Mary Francis graduated from Tennessee Tech University in May 2018 where she played soccer for the Golden Eagles. After college, she interned at WSMV in Nashville.

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