LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – You might take them for granted or even become annoyed when you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror from an ambulance behind you. It means you have to pull over, but those flashing lights could be saving a life.

May 21-27 is National Emergency Medical Services Week.

It happens every day, automobile accidents, people getting sick, someone has an acute medical attack. And usually the first ones to intervene are emergency medical responders from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue. In 2016, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded to 115,320 incidents of which 103,604 of those calls were emergency medical in nature, which comes out to about 90 percent of responses.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week is co-sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians. This year’s theme is “EMS Strong-Always in Service” because when a medical emergency happens, EMS personnel are typically the first ones on the scene. Tim Szymanski is the spokesperson for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue is the primary emergency medical service provider for the city of Las Vegas. It uses 51 paramedic emergency response units within the city. All emergency responders on the department are either a certified paramedic or emergency medical technician.

Today emergency medical services are provided once emergency crews arrive on scene. It is like taking the emergency room to the incident and providing immediate lifesaving care to the person in need. Once a person is stabilized, they are then transported to a medical facility in an ambulance that can do follow up treatment.

The public is reminded that anytime they believe a life threatening medical emergency exists, they should call 9-1-1 immediately and have trained emergency medical responders check it out. What may seem as something that is really nothing, may actually be a life and death situation.

For more information about EMS week, you can go to


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