Officials at Saint John Hospital celebrated National EMS Week by throwing a picnic for members of Leavenworth County EMS.

Officials at Saint John Hospital celebrated National EMS Week by throwing a picnic for members of Leavenworth County EMS.

Paula Ellis, hospital administrator and chief nursing officer, said the work of first responders often goes unrecognized.

“Thank you for your service,” she said during Thursday's EMS appreciation event.

Dr. Michael Watts, the new medical director for the hospital's emergency department, also expressed his appreciation.

“You guys are the ones that really support us and help me do what I do,” he said.

Thursday's EMS appreciation event included a blessing of emergency vehicles. Deacon Darwin Dupree, a hospital chaplain, blessed ambulances and a Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office vehicle with holy water.

Leavenworth County EMS Director Jamie Miller said he appreciated the hospital recognizing his department.

“It shows how important EMS is to the community,” he said.

He said off-duty and on-duty EMS personnel were invited to the event. He said on-duty personnel were able to rotate through the picnic while not responding to calls.

Miller said Saint Luke's Cushing Hospital had its own EMS recognition event this week.

Officials at Saint John Hospital also used Thursday's event to also celebrate National Hospital Week, which tok place earlier in the month.

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