News Releases

News Releases

DHEC, SCEMSA Thank EMS Workers for their Service During National EMS Week

May 13, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) are happy to recognize emergency medical services (EMS) professionals for their life-saving efforts during National EMS Week and encourage Palmetto State residents to do the same. EMS Week runs from May 15-21 this year.

“We owe a great debt to the thousands of EMS workers across our state who clock in every day unsure of what extreme circumstances they may have to face,” said Rich Wisniewski, DHEC Director of EMS and Trauma. “The only certainty is that they must be ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice, and they do so with a level of dedication and bravery that we should all admire. We appreciate their unwavering service, especially the EMS workers in our state.”

South Carolina has 272 EMS agencies and more than 11,000 emergency personnel, including first responders, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Together, these workers form an EMS system that requires a highly coordinated response for emergency medical care. The South Carolina Division of EMS and Trauma is part of the DHEC’s Healthcare Quality division and monitors and develops protocols, designates trauma centers and certifies EMTs and paramedics.

EMS personnel must practice good teamwork and effective collaboration between multiple people and agencies to perform at the highest level. In addition, EMS personnel over the last few years have been tasked with serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering testing and vaccination services and transporting patients when needed.

“EMS personnel are the first line in South Carolina’s medical system.  As medical professionals, they provide a vital service that saves countless lives every year.  We are indebted for their selfless service,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director.

Henry Lewis, the SCEMSA executive director, said the nonprofit organization is celebrating EMS workers in various ways throughout the week, including a billboard campaign and EMS nights at minor league baseball games across the state.

"On behalf of the SCEMSA Board of Directors, we are excited to wish our amazing South Carolina EMS colleagues a safe and happy EMS Week," said Lewis. "Our South Carolina providers exemplify this year's theme in every aspect of their daily lives. Rising to the Challenge can be seen in the innovative ways that our state adapted to mitigate the pandemic, pulled together to push through the Great Resignation and subsequent staffing issues, and continue to push forward to ensure that everyone in South Carolina has access to EMS care and transportation when needed. We are proud to represent these amazing men and women and thank them for their service and commitment to our vital profession.”

More information regarding National EMS Week can be found here.



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