Good Morning. As Minister of Health and Social Development, I am pleased to have been asked and I kindly accepted the invitation to share a few remarks with you about the important role of our Emergency Medical Services.
Some of us refer to this group of professionals as EMTs or paramedics. Some of us know you as emergency workers, while some of us only know you as the people who come to our rescue when we call an ambulance for help. Regardless of your recollection or how one refers to this group of professionals, your job remains the same and the role that you play in our lives – whether individually and collectively to our society can never be under-valued.
On this background -- I join you to officially launch EMS Week under the theme -- “EMS Strong: Beyond the Call”. This theme is most fitting because the service you provide on a daily basis goes beyond the call of duty. These are services that can only come from the heart. I am proud to brag that our EMS team is second to none. Our EMTs show love, care, consideration and diligence when responding to every call. I know that no amount of money can compensate you for what you do but I hope that my expression of appreciation, love and respect for each and every one of you today will inspire, challenge, encourage and empower you to be the best version of yourselves.
Our society has high expectations of you. When we call the ambulance we expect that you will arrive quickly and that you will have the necessary resources and personnel to manage the emergency situation. We expect that you will try your best to assist our loved ones through the difficulty that they may be facing. We expect positive results.
I am becoming increasingly aware of the many challenges that are experienced on a daily and seemingly long-term basis. I have also stopped by to let you know that as the BVI Health Services Authority continue its quest of providing excellent, compassionate, client centered healthcare -- Emergency Services will benefit from training, increased human resources and new and properly maintained equipment that will allow you to continue to operate at levels that will meet and exceed the community’s expectations.
The public also has a role to play! In this regard I take this opportunity to ask; to beg; and to plead with the community to play their role willingly and efficiently. We need you to adhere to the sirens. When you hear the sirens you should pull to the left and come to a complete stop to allow the ambulance a clear path to where they are going. Also we want you to know the proper way to call for Emergency Services. When you call for an ambulance you will be asked to provide your name, precise directions to the address and information like how many persons are injured, the extent of their injuries and a contact number for call back.
Let me re-iterate! When it comes to responding to an emergency situation and saving lives, we all have our part to play. The role that we play can determine if the response time is in 5 minutes to 15 minutes of 50 minutes. I encourage each of us to work together, to save lives, and for the advancement of the community. As we take this time to celebrate the awesome work of our EMTs and Emergency Medical Services we acknowledge the critical role that you play. You represent hope to the hopeless, light to someone in darkness and an opportunity for someone to make it to another day. For this we want to say thank you! We pray God’s continued blessings, health, mercy and protection over your lives so that you may continue to serve the people of this Territory with distinction.
We salute you and I encourage everyone to support our EMTs this week and henceforth. I pray that your week is successful! Your job is rewarding and your service is appreciated! Have an awesome week and keep up the great work. Thank you.