The “Thin White Line”
Ever since the tragic occurrence of 9/11, our police and firefighters have been labeled heroes for their brave and heroic actions – – and rightfully so. So many lives perished that day, along with so many of those brave First Responders, including Paramedics., We will NEVER FORGET them for giving the ultimate sacrifice to save our citizens and for the love of our country.
In recognition of our police and firefighters, we have seen our nation’s precious flag have a variety of different colors portrayed. Most of our population now recognizes the thin blue line on the flag representing the bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s police force. Additionally, we also are familiar with the thin red line on the flag which represents our nation’s brave firefighters for their commitment to the preservation of life and property. What is shocking, however, throughout my travels here in Sullivan County and other counties and states, the general population is not familiar with what the THIN WHITE LINE depicts. The white line shining through the American Flag represents our country’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
The “selfless” dedication of these highly skilled Paramedics and EMTs have limited much suffering from pain of those inflicted with trauma; and saved countless numbers of lives from cardiac arrest, heart attacks, stroke, and other serious medical emergencies. So the question arises, “Why is it the American people are unaware of the THIN WHITE LINE meaning?!?!?!”
The THIN WHITE LINE represents the EMS technicians throughout America today. Currently, there are over 250,000 EMS professionals in the United States. Not as many as one would think, right? They are rare, overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated. Again, why is it citizens are not familiar with EMS? There is a simple answer.
Emergency Medical Services are prohibited from revealing names and addresses of patients due to HIPPA regulations. Further, they are not seen in newspapers or interviewed by the media during emergencies. Therefore, their exposure to the general public is limited much unlike our brothers and sisters of the police and fire service, respectfully. EMS, in relation to other emergency services, is relatively young. It was not until the award-winning television show “Emergency” debuted in 1970 did we realize the need for advancement in pre-hospital care. Doctors began to specialize and the General Practitioner making house calls became a rarity. Henceforth, the “birth” of a new, valuable, lifesaving service.
Paramedics are true lifesavers dedicated to the preservation of life. They are selfless, dedicated, professional technicians deserving of your recognition and appreciation. It wouldn’t hurt to thank them should the occasion arise.