Hospitals across the nation last week took time out in individual communities to honor those who save lives by rushing patients to emergency rooms across the country.
In Lehigh, it was no exception.
Lehigh Regional Medical Center held a barbeque from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for all the medical personnel who work the ER and all the firefighters and EMS at the Lehigh Acres Fire Dept.
It was a spotlight on emergency medical services technicians during National EMS week.
Last week, they all came together to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." May 22 had also been set aside as Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day.
According to Diann Cimring, the hospital's marketing director, this year's theme was "EMS: One Mission. One Team."
"It highlights the team approach that EMS professionals take in fulfilling their mission - caring for those in need. The EMS system includes emergency physicians, nurses, technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators and administrators. These individuals work together to deliver lifesaving care.
Joanie Jeanette, the hospital's president and CEO said emergency responders remain calm and focused in life-threatening situations, and use their medical expertise to assure the health and welfare of those they serve.
"They work quickly and efficiently to deliver these patients safely to our hospital, where clinicians can perform diagnosis and treatment. These are highly skilled, dedicated individuals, who provide outstanding service to Lee County, and we thank them for everything they do.
Being an emergency professional often means being on call 24/7, and requires the ability to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. These individuals dedicate their life to helping others, and they deserve special recognition, Jeanette said.
Dr. Joseph Lemons, director of Lee County EMS said they are all used to being on call and working holidays so they can be ready at a moment's notice.
"I feel fortunate to work with such an amazing group of people and am proud to be part of the EMS team," he said.
EMS and firefighters, along with staff that support them began arriving at LRMC Wednesday morning. Tables were set up outside near the Emergency Room under an overhang roof which provided shade from the hot sun.
Personnel from the hospital were on hand to cook hamburgers and hot dogs and provide a whole array of food including cookies and other desserts.
"This has been great," said Lehigh Acres Fire Dept. Chief John Wayne, as he sat with others at the long tables.
Jessica Lira, the director of the Emergency Room, helped hand out the food to the people being honored.
"It's great to see them here. We get to know a lot of them because of their great work," she said.
"The food's great,' laughed Sue Platas, a member of the supporting staff at the fire department.