|Visiting the Empire State Plaza|
|New York State Emergency Medical Services Memorial|
The New York State Emergency Medical Services Memorial (EMS) honors EMS personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty, from the start of EMS in 1960 up to and including the year 2004. Twenty-five individuals were honored at the dedication of the Memorial on May 19, 2004, including nine who lost their lives responding to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. Three names were added in 2005.
The New York State EMS system is composed of a working partnership between independent volunteers, fire department volunteers, municipal fire departments and fire districts, and private and police-operated ambulance and first response organizations. The combination of these organizations responds to more than 2 million emergency medical and more than 1 million non-emergency medical transports in New York State each year.
The Memorial features a large granite table with a graceful, flowing "Tree of Life" engraved onto a slightly rounded surface. The "leaves" of the Tree are enamel-coated, stainless-steel "Stars of Life," the national symbol of the EMS. Each leaf bears the name, organization and date of death of a member of the EMS system who has fallen in the line of duty. Governor George E. Pataki spoke at the dedication ceremony:
"These men and women, many of them volunteers, are often the first to respond to emergency situations, providing life-saving medical care to help their fellow New Yorkers. They are all heroes. Today, we are proud to dedicate this 'Tree of Life' memorial as a lasting tribute to those in the EMS community who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty."