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To the Editor:

COVID-19 made “heroes” of many. Among them are the thousands of emergency medical services (EMS) volunteers serving their communities throughout New Jersey. In truth, they’ve always been heroes; the pandemic simply highlighted their invaluable contributions and the daily selfless dedication they’ve been demonstrating for decades.

The backbone of New Jersey’s EMS response system, volunteers have been here for us day and night, every holiday, through many disasters and their aftermaths. When COVID arrived, despite the obvious risks and the challenges in obtaining funding, supplies and protective gear, our volunteers have persevered, happily donating their time, knowledge and skills to help others.

EMS Week (May 16-22) is a perfect time to reflect on and thank those who come to our aid when we need it most. How can you help? Sponsor a meal for a duty crew.  Donate what you can (time, supplies, money, services, for example) to your local volunteer EMS squad. Like their social media pages, share their posts and help spread the word about the good work they do. Of course, a great way to help would be by becoming a volunteer and joining our ranks. There’s always room for more heroes.


Barbara Platt / EMS Council of New Jersey
New Egypt, NJ

Barbara Platt is president of the 92-year-old EMS Council of New Jersey, which represents approximately 17,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with 230+ squads throughout the state.

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