Freeman News

Freeman Celebrates National EMS Week

May 17, 2021

Emergency Responders are Part of Team Effort to Help Patients

Joplin, Mo – Freeman Health System thanks emergency medical services (EMS) workers for their vital role in healthcare, always on call 24/7.  In a medical emergency, time is a critical factor and families depend on EMS crews to provide immediate lifesaving care. The 46th Annual National EMS Week is May 16 – 22. This year’s theme is This Is EMS: Caring for Our Communities.

“EMS providers are so vital to our community!” said Hilary Riley, Freeman Director of Emergency/Trauma Services. “They are often the first medical contact with a patient and can immediately initiate treatment on the scene to help care for the patient, whether it be someone is involved in a car accident, the patient is suffering a stroke or a heart attack, or a parent needing comforting when their child is sick. EMS providers are highly skilled individuals, who have received intense training, which enables them to make quick decisions in stressful situations.”

Paramedics, emergency medical technicians and air ambulance nurses and crews are the first link in a chain of caregivers. EMS Week honors their service and sacrifices. The observance started in 1974 as a partnership between National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

“EMS plays such a vital role in the medical system,” said Dr. Alisha Wright, Freeman Hospital West Emergency Department Medical Director. “They often go unrecognized for all they do to provide care for those who need it most. We couldn’t do it without them!”

This week, we salute the efforts of our Freeman Ambulance Service of McDonald County who log 120 thousand miles annually with crews in Anderson and Noel, Newton County Ambulance staff, MedFlight air ambulance crew and local certified emergency medical technicians who care for patients en route to our hospitals. 

“They are essentially an extension of the ER, and we are so thankful for the high-quality care they provide to our patients before they get to the hospital,” said Riley. “Without their hard work and dedication to the community, many patients would not be able to survive or have a positive outcome in their care.”

Freeman will be delivering special treat baskets to our EMS partners on Wednesday, and offering snacks and drinks all week when they make stops at the hospital emergency department.

“It’s fitting that the 10th anniversary of the Joplin tornado is the same week as EMS week,” Riley added. “Without the immediate response from EMS providers near and far that Sunday evening, many more lives would have been lost. We are so thankful for them and the services they provide for our community. I know my family is in good hands if they were to ever need to call 911.”

The medical professionals we honor this week are the people on medicine’s front line. But individuals in the community or at home, witnessing any type of emergency, have a role in early response by calling 911 or administering lifesaving CPR and bandaging. Each day of EMS Week has a theme to encourage the public’s involvement:


  • Monday – EMS Education Day (highlighting community educational programs)
  • Tuesday – Safety Tuesday (risk and prevention, self-care)
  • Wednesday – EMS for Children Day (care for children, first aid, car seat/bicycle safety)
  • Thursday – Save-A-Life Day (CPR and Stop the Bleed)
  • Friday – EMS Recognition Day




About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020-2021. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit