May 20, 2024

EMS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of National EMS Week

The weeklong observance honors the EMS profession and its importance in protecting the safety and health of the public.

EMS Week Collage of employees

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first National EMS Week, a seven-day long celebration that honors the emergency medical services profession and its importance in protecting the safety and health of the public. VB EMS leadership has thoughtfully curated a variety of activities as a show of appreciation and support for volunteer and career members, May 19-25.  

This year’s national theme is “Honoring our Past, Forging our Future” — an appropriate sentiment considering past and recent accomplishments the department has celebrated. In 2023, the Emergency Coronary Care Program marked its 50-year anniversary and EMS reached an unbelievable 51.2% sudden cardiac arrest survival rate. (It was 29% in 2021 and 39% in 2022. The average rate across the country is only 31%.)

Tidewater EMS Council also is celebrating its 50th anniversary — and 2024 is the 20th anniversary of the department’s first career EMS medics. In March, the department welcomed its first board certified community paramedic

“The many countless hours of passionate service are the foundation of our department’s history. More than 9,000 providers have come through our system over the years,” said EMS Chief Jason Stroud. “I am appreciative to have been able to learn from so many members — both past and present — and to have followed and served alongside so many as well.” 

Weeklong Activities 

EMS Week 2024 kicked off on Sunday, May 19, with VB Rescue Foundation’s Appreciation Festival. The week includes opportunities to have chief officers prepare a meal or wash an ambulance, snacks, and training events. 

Residents are encouraged to follow VB EMS on its social channels to see the photos and stories posted throughout the week:  Facebook  |   Instagram   |   X (Twitter)  

Spread the Word  

VB Rescue – Emergency Medical Services’ unique system, comprises career and volunteer providers from 10 different rescue squads that provide quality pre-hospital patient care, education and rescue services.  

Residents interested in joining this unique system do not need to have a medical background. In fact, that’s what makes VB EMS unique — its members come from all backgrounds and professions. EMS Week is another way for the department to spread the word about how VB Rescue volunteer and career members are the strength of our system. 

EMS is an award-winning third-service agency that answers more than 53,000 calls for service annually. Through VB Rescue, EMS utilizes a combined career-volunteer workforce and was named a 2023 American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold EMS Agency. Learn more about EMS by visiting  You can also contact Virginia Beach EMS at

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