EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – This week is EMS Appreciation Week, celebrating the work of all first responders.

Inside an ambulance is a place you never want to find yourself, but for many others, it’s a lifesaver. Emergency Management Services (EMS) crews are sometimes the only thing standing between life and death for a patient.

Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, meaning they eat, sleep, and work out at the station. Firefighters KTSM spoke with said they’re required to work out for at least 1 hour during their shift. They do this in order to stay fit and be ready to handle all the gear and responsibilities that come with the territory.

In addition, each person has their own bedroom at the station, getting only 4-5 hours of sleep each night. They also add that other first-responders are getting only 1-2 hours of sleep per night on shift.

Captain Taron Peebles says on average they receive 8-10 calls per shift.

“Multiple calls with different emergencies ranging anywhere from falls, trips, sore throats, coughs, chest pains, and/or strokes. Other traumatic events that could involve a motor vehicle accident and or trauma,” said Peebles.

He said during the height of the pandemic; they got even more calls than they do now.

“To premise this with chaotic would be an understatement, but again, the fire department is very good at bringing structure to chaos. The COVID calls were very rampant in the early ongoings.”

Peebles wanted to use this week to remind the public what to do when they see an ambulance approaching on the road. He says to make sure you move to the right.

“We don’t want everyone moving because if you believe it or not, there is a methodology to the madness. You move to the right; everyone moves to the right.”

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