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South Carolina EMS Association marks national EMS week’s 50th anniversary with special celebration in Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina – The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of National EMS Week with a unique EMS Appreciation Celebration on May 25 at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, located at 1200 Rosewood Dr. The event featured a statewide ambulance parade, a family-oriented fun day with demonstrations on Stop the Bleed and CPR, an interactive Touch-a-Truck exhibit, and a concert with performances by Taylor Ingle, Corey Smith, and The Frontmen—Larry Steward from Restless Heart, Richie McDonald previously with Lonestar, and Tim Rushlow, who used to be with Little Texas.

“Emergency medical service (EMS) personnel are the unsung heroes in our communities, and we were thrilled to be able to celebrate their incredible work during National EMS Week,” said Henry Lewis, Executive Director of SCEMSA. “The EMS Appreciation Celebration was a chance for us to recognize the hard work and dedication of these men and women, and we hope that this event helped raise awareness about the critical role of EMS services in our communities.”

The event was also graced by the presence of Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette, who delivered the Governor’s Proclamation for EMS Week in South Carolina, underscoring the significant contributions of EMS workers to the state.

This landmark celebration not only marked the first of its kind but also set a new tradition for recognizing and celebrating the bravery and dedication of EMS professionals in South Carolina and potentially beyond. SCEMSA is proud to spearhead this historic event, hoping to increase appreciation and recognition for the indispensable role of EMS in maintaining public safety and saving lives.

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“I enjoyed stopping by the EMS 50th Anniversary Celebration this past weekend to help recognize and honor all that EMS workers do to assist South Carolinians in need — from first responders and dispatchers to firefighters, administrators, and emergency physicians,” SC Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette said on Facebook.

“I was also glad to share the Governor’s Proclamation naming May 19-25, 2024 “Emergency Medical Services Week” in S.C. during Saturday’s program. Thank you for your commitment to others and to your communities,” she added.

The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of National EMS Week with a unique EMS Appreciation Celebration
Event photos, Courtesy of SC Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette FB

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The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) reports a 28% increase in employment since the South Carolina General Assembly approved more financing for EMS in 2022. This has allowed for $300,000 in scholarship money for high school seniors to receive EMT training. This program seeks to solve the persistent staffing shortfalls even with the increase in hiring.

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Recruitment and training are still issues as several counties, including as Kershaw and Marlboro, are still attempting to fill open positions. The EMS industry needs more enthusiastic people, Lt. Governor Pamela Evette said. With over 2,000 recruits already trained and over 16,000 EMTs in the state, the money has made a big contribution to filling the EMS staffing shortage.



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