The week of May 17-23 is being celebrated as National EMS Week. This recognition was created in 1974 by President Gerald Ford to honor EMS responders. The theme for 2020 is “Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow." The American College of Emergency Physicians said: “This theme, which was developed long before the COVID-19 crisis, is particularly meaningful now as we see the EMS community rallying to continuing to support those affected by this crisis, all while still responding to the everyday emergencies that continue to occur in their communities.” 

Here in Otsego County, our volunteer emergency squads and paid ambulance services spent countless hours readying ourselves for the potential of transporting people infected with COVID-19. While we thankfully have not had to do much of that, we remain busy attending to people experiencing medical emergencies or traumatic injuries. That they are often our neighbors, friends and sometimes family members reminds us of how special it is to be a first responder in our small communities. We recognize that being taken to a hospital in an ambulance can be frightening, whether you are 8 or 80 years old. We do our best to treat our patients with respect and compassion while providing top-notch medical care.

I know I speak for all of the emergency squads and EMS providers in our county that we are thankful for the support of our communities and the ability to provide the best care we can for those who need us. We stand ready to serve today, and we are always preparing for what tomorrow may bring.

Steven Gayle


Gayle is captain of the Gilbertsville Emergency Squad.


Have something to say? Send your letter to Letters should be exclusive to this newspaper, contain no more than 300 words and must include a full name, town and phone number. (The number will not be printed.) 

Recommended for you