By the President of the United States of America
Each week more than a thousand Americans die as a result of accidents, heart attacks, and other medical crises because emergency medical assistance is not available.
For many years, physicians and health professionals have been urging improved national facilities for emergency medical care. 'Last year the Congress passed the "Emergency Medical Services Systems Act of 1973" to create a national thrust toward that goal.
Two Federal agencies, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Department of Transportation, are now working closely with States and communities to improve medical emergency services. Although many cities enjoy satisfactory services, the great majority of our communities, especially in rural areas, still require considerable improvement.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning November 3, 1974, as Emergency Medical Services Week.
I call upon the Governors and mayors and all other State and local officials to assist hospital administrators and physicians, fire departments, and other public safety agencies in improving their emergency medical services.
I call upon Federal agencies, especially the two Departments mentioned above, to continue, with renewed vigor, their assistance to States and communities in accelerating their efforts to help those in need of emergency medical assistance.
And I call upon all our people to lend their support to these efforts. We are a traveling nation and none of us knows when we might need help far from home.
Let us affirm that the first year of this national legislation is only the beginning of our effort to improve this part of our total health care system so that no individual in this country will lack help when he needs it.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD