To the Editor:

New Jersey’s EMS volunteers have experienced more than most folks ever will. COVID-19 at its darkest hour likely was their greatest challenge to date, but it was only the latest of many catastrophes these volunteers have tackled during the last nine decades.

Returning to “normal” for New Jersey’s thousands of EMS volunteers entails answering hundreds of thousands of calls annually, maintaining training and certifications, recruiting and retaining members, raising funds, planning and participating in numerous community-engagement activities, and providing stand-by services during public events. That’s in addition to raising families, working and attending school.

We couldn’t possibly repay these volunteers for the millions of hours they dedicate to their communities each year, but we can show our appreciation in many ways every day, and especially during EMS Week (May 15-21). Support your local volunteer EMS agency by donating money, services or supplies. Buy a meal for a duty crew. Sponsor a fundraising event. Become a squad member.

Hailed as heroes during the height of COVID, EMS volunteers continue to shine, functioning as an army of trained responders summoned during times of crisis. They’ve never been more relevant or essential. Thank your local EMS volunteers.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

Paula Weiler

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Paula Weiler

Paula Weiler is president of the 93-year-old nonprofit EMS Council of New Jersey, which represents thousands of volunteers affiliated with 228 EMS agencies throughout the Garden State.