EMS stronger together

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

Mayor Derek Kawakami congratulates Peter Beemer on being a winner of the Triple A Star of Life competition as Speedy Bailey, the director of AMR Hawaii Region, looks on, Monday during the announcement of May 19 to 25 being observed as EMS Week.

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

Mayor Derek Kawakami and Kauai Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro thank representatives of Kauai’s Emergency Medical Service network for the work they do, Monday during the announcement of May 19 through 25 being observed as EMS week.

LIHUE — Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami remembers the compassionate care toward his father, Charles Kawakami, during his final days.

“This is something you cannot forget,” he said Monday morning while offering a Certificate of Honor to the gathering of Emergency Medical Service responders at the Moikeha Building.

The mayor was joined by Kauai Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro with a similar proclamation as Kauai joined the nation in observing National EMS Week that started Sunday and runs through Friday.

“With the theme, ‘EMS Strong: Stronger Together,’ I encourage our Kauai community to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of our dedicated Emergency Medical Service practitioners who safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of all,” Kawakami said.

Members of the Kauai EMS network are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The EMS team consist of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency edical dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, educators, administrators, pre-hospital nurses, emergency nurses, emergency physicians, trained members of the public, and other out-of-hospital medical care providers.

On Kauai, these EMS responders include the American Medical Response, the Kauai Fire Department, the Airport Rescue Fire programs at both the Lihue Airport and at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Mana, the Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau, the Kauai Police Department and its corps of dispatchers, the emergency rooms at Wilcox Hospital, Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, and the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, and the ambulance crews of AMR Air Hawaii, and Hawaii Life Flight.

“These are the people we often take for granted,” Kaneshiro said, echo-ing his sentiments from the National Police Week observance. “We would like to take the time to recognize that the 2019 theme ‘Beyond the Call’ truly exemplified Kauai’s dedicated EMS personnel.”

National EMS Week was started in 1974 to celebrate the important contribution to emergency medicin and public health that is done by EMS practitioners.

The occasion was also an opportunity for Kawakami and Kaneshiro to congratulate Kauai AMR paramedic Peter Beemer on being a winner of the Triple A Star of Life competition.

Beemer, who last week was flown to Oahu with Tito Villanueva, Kauai AMR director, for congratulations by Gov. David Ige, will be just one of 28 winners among a field of 32,000 who will be heading to Washington, D.C., for more honors later in June.

“We’ve had singular EMS recognitions before,” said Cody Bonilla, one of the AMR leaders. “This is the first time we’ve done it, together.”


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