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May 23, 2018

Every year, “more than one million calls are made to 911 requesting emergency care…” in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy noted in a proclamation that draws attention to the work of the state’s emergency services (EMS) clinicians. At first glance, it’s a startling number, but on reflection not so much. For, as the governor detailed, the calls to 911 run the gamut of emergencies — from traumatic injuries, to burns, poisonings, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks, and other medical crises.

The Murphy administration wants to highlight New Jersey’s 31,000 emergency medical services clinicians for their work in this National EMS Week. In the proclamation, the governor lauded the “vital public service” they provide.

The Garden State has a range of emergency medical organizations — from community-based EMS to regional mobile intensive-care programs and aeromedical care specialists. The people — both voluntary and paid — who take on that work, don’t just put in hours of active service; they also rack up a lot of hours on specialized education to improve their skills. The state Office of Emergency Medical Services [www.state.nj.us/health/ems/|certifies] more than 26,000 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and 1,700 mobile intensive care paramedics (MICPs); it also licenses mobility assistance vehicles, ambulances, and other specialty care transport units, totaling more than 4,500 vehicles.

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