A senior Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) official has raised concern about the mental health of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel amid observances of International EMS Week from May 15-21.
“Despite all the medical type emergencies EMS professionals respond to, a forgotten illness is of mental health and well-being of our First responders in the EMS profession,” Station Officer Fernando James observed.
James explained that the toll of the dead and dying victims from a medical or traumatic call can and continues to place great stress and depression on EMS professionals.
As a result, he called on EMS responders to take care of themselves as they care for patients.
“Patient care comes first, but your personal safety and well-being is paramount to productivity at work and home,” James asserted.
He said the office of EMS in the Saint Lucia Fire Service applauds all fire and civilian emergency medical technicians, first responders, and paramedics.
James said the office honors the sacrifice and dedication of every professional who continues to work and be in harm’s way on the medical frontlines, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the senior SLFS official, the observance of EMS Week allows for ‘true acknowledgement’ of the service and the brave men and women who work in potentially fatal situations daily.
He spoke of the need for Saint Lucians to rise above the many emerging challenges and declared that SLFS and civilian Emergency Medical Technicians would be at the side of citizens, supporting and caring for communities and the nation.
Headline photo: Emergency responders from the Saint Lucia Fire Service tend to an accident victim in Vieux Fort (January 2021).