Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) will observe Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week from May 15 through 21. This theme for this year's EMS Week is "Called to Care."
Interim Fire Chief Tim Linke said this year's observance is significant because 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking whitepaper, "Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society." The National Academy of Sciences released the paper in 1966 after assessing the death and injury rate among civilians during a time when the number of people killed on the nation's roadways was near epidemic proportions. The recommendations led to the development of a nationwide EMS system.
"Over the last 50 years, the EMS system has evolved into a highly technical lifesaving profession," Linke said. "LFR has grown into a nationally-known, high-performance, advanced life support first response and transport provider for the community. I'm very proud of our firefighter/paramedics and firefighter/emergency medical technicians who serve as the backbone of prehospital care in Lincoln. People who call 911 for a medical emergency in our City receive the best EMS care available."
Linke said LFR responded to about 24,000 incidents in 2015, and 80 percent were requests for medical assistance. He said LFR's cardiac arrest survival rate is one of the highest in the nation. Patients experiencing a heart attack can have their conditions diagnosed via 12-lead electrocardiogram in the field coupled with rapid transport to a cardiac catheterization facility, and stroke and trauma patients receive rapid transport to definitive care. "None of this would be possible without the training and dedication of our providers and cooperation with the local medical community," Linke said.
LFR is an all-hazards agency that responds from 14 fire stations throughout the City. More information is available at fire.lincoln.ne.gov.