In honor of National EMS Week, several Ark City residents banded together last week to show their appreciation to Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department employees.

Jean and Ellen Snell, with help from Luke and Blanche Schmidt, gifted each employee with a flashlight engraved with his or her own name.

The Snells provided the flashlights and the Schmidts provided engraving services.

The flashlights are highly focused, very bright and suitable for medical use, according to Jean Snell.

They have a 70-foot range and supposedly are durable enough to survive being run over with a vehicle.

“Thank you very much,” said ACFD Lt. Paul Hunter. “I don’t think anybody will drive over theirs in a fire truck, but we’re pretty hard on equipment,” he added jokingly.

Since the department has three different shifts, only one-third of the ACFD employees were in attendance when the flashlights were delivered, but the rest were able to pick theirs up during their duty shifts later that week.

National EMS Week is celebrated every May. The City Commission of Arkansas City proclaimed at its May 15 meeting that it would be observed during the week of May 20-26.

“Emergency medical services has grown to fill a gap by providing important, out-of-hospital care, including preventative medicine, follow-up care, and access to telemedicine,” the proclamation states.

“(The) emergency medical services system consists of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, educators, administrators, pre-hospital nurses, emergency nurses, emergency physicians, trained members of the public, and other out-of-hospital medical care providers.”

The theme for this year’s awareness week was “EMS Strong: Stronger Together.”