Providing timely, efficient and compassionate care is at the core of emergency medical services offered by the Galveston Area Ambulance Authority (GAAA).

In a moment of need, and vulnerability, Galveston County residents can rest assured the authority will provide the highest quality EMS care. Sunday through May 26 we celebrate National EMS Week.

If you were to ask paramedics and emergency medical technicians why they do what they do day after day, you’re likely to get different answers. Some like the schedule flexibility, the camaraderie, the ability to learn through new experiences or the rush of adrenaline that comes when the call goes out.

The work can be challenging, but they will all tell you they do it because they are passionate about helping others.

As the county’s largest EMS agency, we provide extraordinary care to residents in Galveston, Jamaica Beach, Bayou Vista, Tiki Island, Hitchcock and unincorporated areas of Galveston County 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In 2017, ambulance authority responded to 13,654 calls for medical emergencies including heart attacks, falls, injuries, motor vehicle accidents, drownings, cardiac arrests, strokes, drug overdoses and acute illnesses.

We also responded to 4,404 non-emergency transfer calls, which often involves transferring patients between medical facilities.

Our services area spans 156 square miles and is as diverse and unique as our staff, with rural and urban areas, beaches and the waterways surrounding Galveston County.

We have paramedics and EMTs who are just beginning their careers and this is their first time on the streets answering calls and we have those who are EMS veterans who have been in the industry for many years. Some have been with GAAA their entire career.

But, our EMS services go beyond paramedics and EMTs. There are many who work behind the scene, answering calls, dispatching crews, making sure our ambulances and vehicles continue to run. They all play a vital role in the services the authority provides.

Emergency or non-emergency, each call is just as important as the one before and the one after.

Amy Weber is interim director of Emergency Medical Services for the Galveston County Health District.

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