May 20, 2019
UPMC Susquehanna and Pennsylvania Department of Health Celebrate EMS Week
“I’m here today because of you,” said Keith McCabe of Williamsport as he addressed a crowd of emergency medical services professionals and community members as a special guest at an EMS Week celebration held at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center. UPMC Susquehanna, Susquehanna Regional EMS, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health coordinated the event to kickoff EMS Week, May 19-25.
McCabe was seriously injured in November 2018 after his vehicle went off Route 220 North and traveled across the median onto the southbound lanes, directly into the path of a tractor trailer truck. McCabe sustained serious injuries including a broken pelvis and hip, as well as shattered both his ankles.
“I’m so grateful to the EMS and first responders who were there for me in my time of need, especially Tammy Ings and her partner Tim. It’s a miracle that I’m able to be here today and share my story with you, but it’s because of you that survivors have the ability to share our stories,” said McCabe. “Thank you.”
Also speaking during the event were UPMC Susquehanna representatives Tony Bixby, director of pre-hospital services, Greg Frailey, M.D., medical director of pre-hospital services, and David Lopatofsky, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, as well as Dylan Ferguson, EMS director, Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“It’s my privilege to be able to share this day with you and thank you for what you do,” said Ferguson. “Collectively, over 42,000 licensed EMS providers across the state respond to over one million calls for service each year. When I hear stories from survivors such as Keith’s, it is clear that our system, when combined with skilled paramedics and EMS providers, works as it is designed to provide survivors with a second chance they otherwise may not have had. You have an impact on and play a vital role in our state’s health and wellness and I thank you for all that you do.”
In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. The week is a time to ensure that the important contributions of EMS practitioners in safeguarding the health, safety, and wellbeing of their communities are fully celebrated and recognized.
“EMS Week is a time to recognize the unsung heroes of our communities,” said Tony Bixby. “Night and day, you answer the call. You are the life-saving providers on medicine’s frontline. What you all do matters and makes a difference.”
UPMC Susquehanna and Susquehanna Regional EMS have various events planned throughout the week to highlight providers throughout northcentral Pennsylvania.