MAY 21-27, 2017 is the 43rd Annual National EMS Week, and earlier this month was Public Service recognition week. Next month is National Safety Month. I have great admiration for public servants, especially those Emergency Medical Service crews and other first responders who put themselves at risk to serve others. Thank you to those who help keep us safe, who respond to our mishaps, and provide health care when called. Often, we fail to recognize the efforts and importance of such services until they directly impact our lives.

I encourage my friends to perform individual safety planning or community service. Have you taken first aid and/or CPR training and is it current? Do your loved ones know how to reach your coworkers and friends in an emergency? Do you have an emergency plan? Is your first aid kit/emergency kit well stocked? Do your family members know what to do in an emergency? Can you donate blood?

For my fellow hazardous material managers, I encourage you to spend extra time this week on safety and emergency planning. For those who deal with safety and emergency planning every day, perhaps that is just reaching out to thank the people we work with regularly in the emergency response field. For others, who have many various job responsibilities, this is a good week to try to review safety related items. Are the facility’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA) Section 311 notifications still current? Are the safety data sheet (SDS) binders up to date? Are the spill kits well stocked? Do I need to update contacts on the spill response plans? Are the employee safety and spill response trainings current? Many of these items are easy to overlook when we are pulled too thin, but planning and responsible management help keep our EMS workers, first responders, and community safe.

For more information about EMS Week visit the NAEMT website or For more information about National Safety Month visit this link. For more information about Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know reporting, visit the EPA EPCRA website. If you need assistance with emergency planning, please contact me at or 502-587-6482 extension 211.