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Sunday, October 16, 2011

PA EMS Workers Remember Fallen Colleagues

(Mary Wilson/Essential Public Radio)
Pennsylvania EMS responders gathered in Harrisburg this week to honor comrades who died on September 11.

EMS responders from across the state are honoring their colleagues who died serving their communities, as well as those who lost their lives, on September 11th, 2001. 

The memorial service was supposed to be on the tenth anniversary of the infamous terrorist attacks, but it was postponed due to flooding from Tropical Storm Lee.

More than 150 men and women of Pennsylvania’s EMS gathered at the Capitol this week to hear the names read and pay respects, once more, to colleagues who died “on a run.”

When you get an ambulance call, the old jargon was, it’s a run.  Using that as, ‘Hey, he runs with, or he ran with,’” said Barry Albertson, President of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania. “It’s just the jargon. We used to say you belong to some organization or another.”

42 EMS providers from throughout the country died responding to the terrorist attacks in 2001. The crowd also heard the names of EMS providers from Pennsylvania who died on duty during the past 20 years.

Glen Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said that within the last 50 years, EMS has earned its way into the brother- and sisterhood of public safety.

For a long time, EMS was the orphan third service of public safety,” said Cannon. “But who truly makes a difference in life-saving every time you go out and put your hands on a patient are EMS.”


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