Wave the Stars and Stripes for Military Employees
Many EMS organizations have employees who also have careers in the National Guard or military reserve. These employees deserve special recognition for their service, and with Independence Day a July tradition, what better time to work with federal, state and local agencies in support of America’s troops who hail from your own backyard?
Arrange for your heroes to serve as Grand Marshal and/or ride in a July 4th parade
Host an employee picnic with a red, white and blue theme and recognize your military employees for their service
Start an e-mail or letter-writing campaign to troops serving away from home
Make a tribute wall in the station with photos of military employees
Veterans' associations and hospitals, local Reserve and National Guard units, military installations, ROTC and recruiting offices are just a few of the places to which you can look for community partnerships in July. You can also find great resources online through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program at www.ESGR.org.
Reno EMS Authority Sets the Pace for Support of Reservists and Guardsmen
Often a phone call from a federal official signifies trouble. But this call to the Reno Area EMS Authority (REMSA) was good news: REMSA President/CEO Patrick Smith was being summoned to the White House to be honored with the 2008 Freedom Award for REMSA’s outstanding support of its military employees. In conjunction with the award, Smith also joined the 2008 USO Tour to Iraq, Germany and other destinations.
REMSA was nominated for the Freedom Award by employee Stephen Park, a sergeant with the USAF 1/168 Medical Company Air Ambulance. Park expressed gratitude for REMSA’s "total and complete support" of the National Guard and Reserve. For example, REMSA provides differential pay during deployment, regardless of the length of time that the employee is away from REMSA duties. REMSA also pays reservists their full wages during 15 days of annual training, plus compensates them for 15 days of additional training, if needed. REMSA provides full benefits to its Reserve and Guard employees and their families while the employee is deployed.
REMSA supports its reservists and National Guard personnel in other ways, too, such as sending them regular e-mails, newsletters and care packages. Managers make life-sized, cardboard cutouts of deployed employees and take them to company functions "to make it seem like they’ve never left," REMSA VP of Operations Mike Williams said, noting that he e-mails photos of the cardboard replicas to the soldiers with a note saying that he hopes that they enjoyed the event that they missed. "We do this so they know we’re all here, and we love them."
Adapted with permission from Best Practices in Emergency Services