2017 Honoree Jason Adams | Sherwood Fire Department

Lieutenant R. Jason Adams, 29, died in the line of duty January 22, 2016, in Sherwood, Arkansas, while responding to a medical call as a volunteer with the East Pulaski County Fire Department in Arkansas. Adams’ interest in the fire service was sparked when he was assisted by a volunteer firefighter who responded to a call to his home when Adams was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for his second battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Adams was hired by the Sherwood Fire Department immediately following his graduation from the Arkansas Fire Training Academy, Firefighter Standards in April 2012. He served as a volunteer firefighter with the East Pulaski County Fire Department for 10 years and was a career firefighter with the Sherwood Fire Department for four years.

National EMS Memorial Service 2016

Photos by Mark Mennie

The National EMS Weekend of Honor Pays Tribute to Fallen EMS Heroes

Washington, D.C. – The National EMS Memorial Service, the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride will pay tribute to our fallen EMS and air medical providers from throughout the United States during the 2017 National EMS Weekend of Honor, scheduled May 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, Va.

There are many activities and events during the three-day Weekend of Honor, including two events that the public and media are invited and encouraged to attend as a show of support for the selfless service and sacrifice of the 2017 honorees:

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017

The Arrival & Tribute of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR)

The NEMSMBR celebrates the lives of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as well as EMS legacy personnel who have died of natural or nonemployment-related causes.

About 100 EMS Memorial Bike Riders, led by a procession of EMS vehicles, will arrive at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, concluding a trip that began on May 13 in Boston and kicking off the 2017 Weekend of Honor.

Riders are predominantly EMS professionals from across the U.S., and each rider wears dog tags bearing an honoree’s name, agency and date of their loss.

Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Presentation of Dog Tags to the families will occur. The rider will meet the family in front of the honoree’s biography to present one of their two dog tags worn during the ride — an emotionally powerful part of the Honor Weekend. The rider will keep the other dog tag as a lifetime reminder of the honoree’s sacrifice.

The Presentation of the Dog Tags is immediately followed by a short ceremony.

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017

National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS)  

The National EMS Memorial Service, a formal ceremony to honor fallen EMS professionals who have died in the line of duty, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

The entire memorial service can be viewed via live-streaming.  Hundreds of EMS personnel from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the NEMSMS, along with friends, co-workers of current and past honorees, dignitaries, EMS and business leaders, and government officials.

All participants in the NEMSMS will be in dress uniform, flight suits, or similar appropriate attire.  Honor Guards, along with bagpipe and drum corps will volunteer their time and services throughout the weekend.

An American flag, flown over the nation’s capitol, will be presented to each of the twenty-nine honoree’s family along with the NEMSMS medallion.  During the service, a National Moment of Silence will be called at 6 p.m. (Eastern), so that EMS agencies across the U.S. can pause simultaneously in 30 seconds of radio silence to pay respect and remember the fallen—together.

The year’s honorees are highlighted in a special Tribute Video, followed by an uplifting Candlelight Ceremony that concludes the service.  The National EMS Memorial “Tree of Life” will be on display.

Bronze oak leaves are engraved with the names of fallen honorees for each year since 1993. In August 2015, the three EMS organizations named above agreed to collaborate on a shared vision and strategic plan to honor EMS heroes who have died in the line of duty.

They are continuing to move forward with efforts to establish a permanent National EMS Memorial in the greater Washington, D.C. area, an effort being led by the National EMS Memorial Foundation.

More updates on these efforts will be forthcoming. “This year, the National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the beginning of National EMS Week, which is May 21-27,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “Our nation’s capital area in Northern Virginia is a fitting location for these annual memorial events that commemorate our country’s brave men and women in the field of emergency medical services.”

Register for this year’s memorial service by clicking the button below:

Event Registration


About the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride:

The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, Inc. honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty. For more information, visit www.muddyangels.org. “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/muddyangels; Follow us on Twitter at @nemsmbr and on Instagram at @nemsmbr.

For National EMS Memorial Bike Ride
Media inquiries and interview requests, contact:
Trish Jubinville, Public Information Officer

About the National EMS Memorial Foundation:

The National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation’s sole purpose is to establish a permanent EMS memorial in Washington DC or its environs to honor, recognize and remember the commitment, service and sacrifice of the Nation’s EMS heroes who have died in the line of duty and for those who continue this service commitment and sacrifice. For more information, visit www.emsmemorial.com. “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-EMS-Memorial-Foundation/139542192884813?fref=ts; Follow us on Twitter at @EMSmemorial

For National EMS Memorial Foundation
Media inquiries and interview requests, contact:
Katie Orsino, Executive Director

About the National EMS Memorial Service:

The National EMS Memorial Service was established to remember and honor those emergency medical services personnel who have died in the line of duty and to recognize the ultimate sacrifice they have made for their fellow man. An all-volunteer effort, the Service is held annually for honorees families supported by participants and Honor Guard members from across the US and includes the National EMS Moment of Silence. For more information, visit www.national-ems-memorial.org. “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NEMSMS; Follow us on Twitter at @NEMSMS and @NEMSMSweekend.

For National EMS Memorial Service
Media inquiries and interview requests, contact:
Sara Hunt, Public Relations Coordinator

National EMS Memorial Service


Why Red Poppies on Memorial Day?

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael. When she returned to France she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help.

Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.