National EMS Week, May 19-25, is off to an early start as the EMS Memorial Bike Ride is now under way.
Riders taking the East Coast route, which starts in Boston, and those taking the Southern route, which starts in Raleigh, North Carolina, will arrive in Washington, D.C., on May 17 and take part in the National EMS Memorial Service the following day.
Team Kansas EMS, a group pre-hospital providers, is participating in the annual long-distance bicycle ride honoring the sacrifices of EMS personnel killed in the line of duty, who become sick or injured during EMS service, or whose death has left an impact on their local EMS — or greater — community.
This year, Kansas team is participating in the East Coast Route. Their honorees the three Ascension Wisconsin associates who lost their lives in a medical helicopter crash in April 2018 and Donald White, father of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis ER nurse Callie Carman. White, the Kansas Board of EMS deputy administrator who was instrumental in developing the Paramedic to RN and RN to Paramedic Bridge programs, died of liver cancer in 2005.
“It’s been very cold and wet. On Day 2 we had sleet with wind chills of 38 degrees,” says Leigh Chambers, an Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department nurse and former EMS paramedic participating in the memorial bike ride for a third year in a row. “But we ride rain or shine and no matter what for the families and those we are honoring.”
You can follow this year’s team on Facebook at NEMSMS, MuddyAngels and TeamKansasEMS.