HEMSI celebrates National EMS week

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Our growing communities could not function without the constant aid of our first responders.

This week is National Medical Services week and Monday HEMSI took a moment to honor the men and women who are always on call for us.

Those first responders have taken care of, and responded to, all of Madison County's emergency needs for 35 years now.

"They save a lot of people's lives and they make a big difference in people's lives," said HEMSI Chief Operations Officer, Don Webster.

This week is a chance for the community to take a moment and thank those who are first on scene, never knowing what a call may bring.

"There are some hard days, but it's worth it," shared HEMSI Quality Assurance Analysis, Brenda Bradford.

Chief Don Webster has been with HEMSI since the year they started in 1981, and so has Brenda Bradford. Both have served the Tennessee Valley for 35 years and things have certainly changed in that time.

"We had like two ambulances,” said Bradford. “That’s what we started with. Two crews and we thought we were really something when we went to three crews."

Now there are 14 stations and 38 ambulances in the fleet! In three and a half decades the quality of pre-hospital care has advanced dramatically, it's truly changed the industry and saved countless lives.

"Our community has grown, and the ambulance industry has grown with it," shared Webster.

The only thing that's constant in this industry is the selflessness and dedication you'll find in every first responder.

"Whether we are running a transfer, or running a true emergency,” said Bradford. “We have to be here, and we're here because we want to be here."

This week celebrates the nation's 50th year of emergency medical services.

HEMSI will honor first responders and their families on Tuesday and Wednesday with dinner and awards.