Safe Citizen Day is May 23

The American College of Emergency Physicians is promoting two campaigns for this year’s EMS Week: The World CPR Challenge and Safe Citizen Day.

EMS Week’s theme is “Always in Service,” to raise awareness of and celebrate the men and women of emergency medical services, such as paramedics, EMTs and other first responders.

“EMS Week salutes the professionals who rescue people in their communities and bring them to the emergency department,” said ACEP’s president, Dr. Rebecca Parker. “They do an incredibly tough job and all emergency physicians recognize their contribution to the team sport that is emergency medicine. This year we are asking the public to take a few steps to be prepared for an emergency by participating in the World CPR Challenge and Safe Citizen Day.”

The World CPR Challenge was created to address the severe shortage of people trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

More than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest annually and most die, but survival rates can double or triple if CPR is performed right away. For more about CPR, visit ACEP’s consumer site,

“Our goal with the World CPR Challenge is to train one million people in bystander CPR during EMS Week, May 21-27,” said Parker.

“Groups around the country are training people how to assist in the ‘chain of survival’ by recognizing the signs of sudden cardiac arrest and providing compression-only CPR until first responders – like EMS – arrive. The training only takes one hour and we strongly urge everyone to find out who in their community is offering the training.

“Take it! You could save a life.”

Safe Citizen Day

ACEP is recommending that individuals and families develop a disaster response plan before disaster strikes, and offers tips on assembling a family disaster supply kit as a great first step. ACEP’s site,, has resources to help people prepare, including a children’s video game called Disaster Hero.

“It’s never too early to prepare for a disaster, since they so often come without warning,” said Parker.

“We hope all Americans will devote some time May 23 to becoming safe citizens by preparing a disaster response plan or at least discussing evacuation routes or communications plans with family and friends. Disasters are very frightening but being prepared for them ahead of time can make them a little easier to manage.”

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency physicians and the millions of patients they serve. ACEP has chapters representing each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military and government agencies.