LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The third week of May is set aside to recognize some heroes among us. It’s National Emergency Medical Services Week.

Sunday marked day one of the forty-ninth Annual EMS Week, a week dedicated to the EMS profession and everything it entails.

Eyewitness News Reporter Emily Allegrucci spoke with some of our local first responders and discussed what this week means to them.

For almost 50 years, the third week in May has been recognized for those who dedicate their lives to saving ours.

“So it’s very important that now the public has a week to recognize their ems providers, their municipalities, and their localities,” said Edward Szafran, Chief of Operations for the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance.

EMS Week is nationwide, giving the public a chance to say thank you to their local first responders.

“EMS is the first line of treatment when somebody calls 911, and sometimes we see these people on their worst days,” said Steve E. Piotrowski, Paramedic, and firefighter, for the Kingston Forty Fort Fire Department.

Special events are held throughout the week, inspired by theme days such as EMS Recognition Day, Education Day, and Save-a-Life Day.

Those who work closely with EMS professionals give back during this time.

“It’s great that we have a week. We usually get to celebrate, we usually have all the hospitals have events. Barbecues, thank you presents, it’s just real great,” said Piotrowski.

“Our hospital partners do — do some nice things throughout the week. Some have a barbecue, a breakfast. Just to kind of thank us for the work that we do,” said Szafran.

The responders appreciate the acknowledgment for their work all year long.

Although EMS Week is just once a year, it is important to remember that these first responders are out saving lives 365 days of the year.

“While the week is a very nice example to highlight us and highlights us to the public and community at large, it’s also important that we maintain that all throughout the year,” Szafran stated.

Those being celebrated this week are happy to have the chance to spread awareness of what they do for a living. Save lives.

“I think just a lot of people don’t realize what ems actually does. Just like the police and the fire companies, a lot of people don’t realize what each of the first responders do,” Piotrowski explained.

For those interested, more information on EMS Week is available online.