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D.C. paramedics, EMTs honored in kick-off to 'EMS Week'

D.C. Fire/EMS honored nearly 50 firefighters, paramedics and EMTs for saving lives in medical emergencies in a ceremony Tuesday that served as a kick-off to Emergency Medical Services Week.

The ceremony, which took place at the Hattie Holmes Wellness Senior Center in Northwest, highlighted the medical side of the fire department, which responds to about 130,000 medical calls for service annually. Nearly 90,000 people are transported to hospitals each year, the agency said.

The agency's medical emergency response has come under fire in the past after the death of a New York Times reporter, which led to EMS reforms that officials say have improved the agency.

More recently, the adequacy of the agency's medical response to children in distress made headlines in February after a 2-year-old girl with trouble breathing was not immediately taken to the hospital, and later died.

D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin presented the D.C. Fire/EMS Lifesaver Award to several firefighters, paramedics and EMTs for their work saving patients. (Courtesy D.C. Fire/EMS)

Officials focused on the positive side of their efforts at the ceremony, which kicks off a week of education and community activities throughout D.C. and around the country in a national celebration.

Here are some EMS Week activities taking place Wednesday and beyond:

Wednesday, May 19 9:00 am – 3:00 pm: DC F&EMS Engine 8 (Child Safety Seat inspection) 1520 C Street, SE 10:00am - 12:00pm: Palisades Neighborhood Library (CPR Awareness Event) 4901 V Street, NW 11:00am - 1:00pm: Ft. Davis Recreation Center (Basic Health Screenings) 1400 41st Street, SE
Thursday, May 20: 9:00am -11:00am: Department of Motor Vehicles (Basic Health Screenings) 301 C Street, NW (lobby) 1:30pm - 3:30pm: Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library (CPR Awareness Event) 7420 Georgia Avenue, NW
Friday, May 21: 9:00am -12:00pm: Office of Unified Communication (OUC) (CPR Training) 2720 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, S.E.

--Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  May 19, 2010; 8:02 AM ET
Categories:  Fires & Fire Safety , Heroes , The District , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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