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Memorial Honors EMS Workers Who Have Died on the Job

EMS Memorial
Photo Credit: Michele Skalicky

The memorial lists eight people—a flight nurse, two EMS managers, two paramedics and three emergency medical technicians.  The 1stdied in 1990 and the last in 2009.  They all lost their lives while on the job as emergency medical workers for Mercy.

The black marble slab sits on the southwest corner of Mercy EMS Headquarters on St. Louis Street in Springfield surrounded by roses, clematis and other kinds of flowers.

Bob Patterson, administrative director for Emergency Medical Services at Mercy, says it was EMS workers who decided to erect the memorial as a way to remember their fellow employees who died in the line of duty…

"It's just a nice way to remember them.  I think it will be important for their family members that can come by and see those names there.  We try to make this as public a display as possible," he said.

siren

EMS workers face dangerous situations every day on the job, according to Patterson.  Being out on the road is dangerous, he says, as ambulances rush to help with medical emergencies…

"Motor vehicle crashes are probably the one major issue--we focus a lot on safety as far as seat belts, safety design of ambulances, safe operations.  We have a black box that monitors all of our vehicles as it relates to speed and cornering  and lateral forces on the vehicle.  We focus a lot on safe vehicle operations.  That's probably our most vulnerable thing," he said.

Work on the memorial is being completed this week-- National Emergency Medical Services Week, a time set aside by the American College of Emergency Physicians to honor EMS workers.  It runs through May 25th. 

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.