May 19-25 is National Emergency Medical Services Week, an observance designed to recognize and celebrate the enormous contributions EMS professionals make to our community.

EMS professionals answer the call day or night, in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of conditions — many of which can be dangerous and emotionally challenging. It’s easy to forget how difficult this work can be, but our dispatchers, first responders, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics deliver, without fail, day in and day out.

Our Greater Norwood Emergency Medical Services System consists of a variety of professionals, all dedicated to answering the call and making a difference in their patients’ lives.

Members of emergency medical services teams — whether career or volunteer, public or private — engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills.

As a hospital president, I can relate that without the benefit of our area’s dedicated EMS partners, my hospital staff — and more importantly, our patients — would truly be at a loss.

Please join with me in thanking our EMS teams for the exceptional work they do.

Salvatore Perla, president, Norwood Hospital

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