This International Paramedics Day, people worldwide are coming out to show appreciation for their local paramedics and the tireless service they provide to their communities. 

In line with their brave role as first responders, paramedics arrive at critical emergencies prepared to offer immediate assistance. They encounter individuals at their most vulnerable and work tirelessly to preserve their lives and dignity. Despite encountering abuse and disrespect, paramedics treat all patients as precious lives that deserve fair treatment. 

Whether helping to deliver babies, treating gunshot wounds, dressing lacerations, or calming someone in a mental crisis, paramedics give every patient top priority without missing a beat. 

In this blog, you’ll learn about International Paramedics Day, paramedics’’ daily responsibilities and how you can get involved in celebrating on July 8th. 

What Is International Paramedics Day?

International Paramedics Day is celebrated on July 8th each year to commemorate paramedics’ contributions to healthcare and the citizens in their communities. The day was birthed in the United Kingdom to raise awareness of the breadth of work carried out by EMTs and paramedics post-pandemic. The date – July 8th—was chosen to honor the ‘father of ambulance services’ Dominique-Jean Larrey on his birthday.

Each year, the holiday follows a theme developed by the College of Paramedics in the UK and several international professional paramedics’ organizations. This year’s theme is ‘The Difference We Make,” which highlights the impact paramedics make on the lives of those they treat and their commitment to continually making a difference.

The components of International Paramedics Day include:

  • Raising awareness about paramedics’ responsibilities and duties.
  • Recognizing paramedics who go beyond the call of duty. 
  • Publicly showing appreciation to paramedics and EMTs.
  • Taking teaching children about paramedics and their role in the community.
  • Raising awareness about the importance of paramedics’ mental health. 

The Role of Paramedics

Paramedics assess people for injuries and illnesses wherever they are and provide stabilization treatments before transporting them to a medical facility. They are medically trained to perform minor procedures, administer intravenous medications, and perform lifesaving first aid.

Other daily duties include:

  • Liaising with hospital staff regarding patient treatments and assessments
  • Transferring patients from general hospitals to specialty hospitals
  • Providing lifesaving care in transit (Including on helicopters and ships.)
  • Administering medications to individuals with chronic illnesses
  • Providing Narcan and other medications to reverse drug overdoses
  • Assisting with childbirth

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and advanced EMTs work alongside paramedics to treat patients on the scene and en route to the hospital. However, EMTs are limited in what treatments they can provide. Advanced EMTs can administer intravenous fluids and controlled medications. However, only paramedics can perform advanced airflow management or interpret electrocardiograms.

Challenges and Resilience

Paramedics work in a high-stress environment, often responding to dangerous and life-threatening situations. They are constantly exposed to airborne and bloodborne illnesses and must respond to calls even during national disasters, mass casualty events, and pandemics. Additionally, they risk becoming injured each time they arrive at the scene of a violent situation.

Their shift work is unpredictable and may require them to encounter trauma numerous times during their 12 to 24-hour shifts. Unfortunately, lack of sleep, constant exposure to trauma, and distress often lead to anxiety, depression, and, in some cases, substance use disorders. And even though there are paramedic organizations to debrief workers after traumatic interactions, they may still struggle to cope with the scenes they’ve experienced.

Ways to Support Our Paramedics

Showing appreciation to your local paramedics is one way to boost their morale and reduce work-related stress.

If you’re looking for a way to contribute this International Paramedics Day, here are a few ideas:

  • Raise awareness about International Paramedics Day by sharing posts online.
  • Use the hashtag #internationalparamedicsday and share how a paramedic made a difference in your life.
  • Thank a paramedic for their service.
  • Ask them how their days are going and give them space to talk.
  • Donate to nonprofits that support paramedics and EMTs.
  • Send gifts or thank you cards to your local ambulance service.
  • Ask them how their day’s going and give them space to open up. 

Olympus Recovery Can Help

Remember, paramedics work under a great deal of stress, and they don’t always have the time or facilities to relieve that stress. By recognizing their duties and showing gratitude, you’ll do your part to improve their mental health and make their career more enjoyable. 

Do you know a paramedic struggling to cope with the stresses of their career? Allow them to speak openly about their difficulties without judgment. Sometimes all it takes is a shoulder to cry on or a willing listener to help them feel validated and safe. 

If they’re using drugs or alcohol to cope, suggest seeking treatment to save their career and to learn healthier coping skills. 

For information about substance treatment and recovery, contact Olympus Recovery today.  

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For immediate help call us confidentially at (866) 305-7134. Our admissions specialists can answer all your questions, and put you on the road to recovery.