(WWTI) – Today is National First Responders Day, so show some appreciation to the people we rely on in emergency situations.

A 1966 federal study, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, named accidental injuries as a leading cause of death in the first half of a person’s life. The report also showed that more Americans in 1965 died in vehicle accidents than were lost in the Korean War. The report made the claim that seriously wounded citizens had a better chance in a war zone than on the average city street. 

The authors made several recommendations for managing and preventing accidental injuries, including the standardization of emergency training for rescue squad personnel, police officers, firefighters and EMTs. Thanks to this standardization, UCLA and Eastern Kentucky University were the first to invite national accreditors to review their EMT programs in 1980. 

Health experts began to theorize that more could be done in out-of-hospital settings, which led to the creation and implementation of the emergency medical technician–paramedic curriculum in the 1970s. In 1979, advanced cardiac life support training provided a crucial new tool to treat patients experiencing a heart attack or other forms of cardiac arrest. However, it was not required for paramedic training and certification until the mid-1980s.

Information on first responders is available on First Responders Foundation’s website, whose mission is to: 

  • Serve and honor all First Responders, Veterans and their families; 
  • Build appreciation and respect for their work; and 
  • Enhance public safety.

Happy National First Responders Day!