Give an EMS Hero A Break: How to Have a Fun and Safe Fourth of July

Every year, Americans gather on the 4th of July to celebrate our nation’s independence. Many enjoy the day off with barbecues, cabin getaways with friends and family, and of course, fireworks displays. However, numerous individuals, including EMS workers, must remain on duty to support these festivities.

The 4th of July typically sees a significant increase in EMS calls due to incidents involving fireworks, alcohol consumption, and large gatherings. While specific national statistics for this day aren’t always reported annually, data consistently shows a noticeable uptick in emergency service activity. According to the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS), EMS call volumes can increase by 25-30% on major holidays like the 4th of July. ( (EMS1).

To ensure a safe and enjoyable Independence Day while minimizing the need for emergency services, consider the following tips:

Fireworks Safety

Use Legal Fireworks
Only purchase and use fireworks that are legal in your area. Follow local regulations for safety.

Supervise Children
Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should only use them under close adult supervision.

Maintain a Safe Distance
Light fireworks one at a time and keep a safe distance. Ensure spectators are at a safe distance from the fireworks.

Keep Water Nearby
Have a bucket of water or a garden hose ready in case of fire or other mishaps.

Avoid Relighting Duds
If a firework doesn’t ignite, do not attempt to relight it. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in water before disposal.

safety tips

General Safety Tips

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re spending time outdoors in the sun.

Sun Protection
Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.

First Aid Kit

Have a first aid kit readily available for minor injuries.

Fire Safety

Be aware of local fire conditions and regulations, especially if you are in an area prone to wildfires. Avoid using fireworks in dry, grassy areas.

Pet Safety

Keep pets indoors to avoid exposure to loud noises and potential injuries from fireworks.

Alcohol & Substance Use

Moderate Consumption
Drink alcohol in moderation and stay hydrated with plenty of water.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Arrange for a designated driver or use rideshare services if you plan on drinking.

Supervise Activities
Avoid engaging in potentially dangerous activities, such as swimming or operating fireworks, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Food Safety

Proper Food Handling

Keep perishavle foods in coolers with ice. Avoid leaving food out in the sun for prolonged periods.

Grill Safety
Use grills in open areas away from structures and flammable materials. Never leave a lit grill unattended.

Check Meat Temperatures

Use a meat thermometer to ensure meats are cooked to the proper temperatures to prevent foodborne illness.

By following these safety tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and emergencies, ensuring a safe and enjoyable 4th of July celebration. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll help give our heroes in EMS a much-needed break.

For more detailed information and tips, refer to resources from ( (EMS1).