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story.lead_photo.caption LifeNet employee Molly Wade gets lunch at the Silvermoon on Broad at an event to recognize and show appreciation for local first responders as part of National EMS Week. Photo by Ashley Gardner / Texarkana Gazette.

The 45th annual National EMS Week runs through Saturday and local first responders are being recognized, an fed, by the local organizations they work with as part of the celebration.

On Tuesday, LifeNet Inc., provided lunch for local first responders at Silvermoon on Broad catered by Silver Star Smokehouse.

"It's EMS week so we wanted to honor our employees and all the people involved in helping us do our job," said David Baumgardner, LifeNet executive director.

LifeNet expected to feed about 150 first responders at the event.

"This is simply for the work they do," said Buddy Allen, LifeNet board member. "They're paramount to the safety of our community. I just appreciate what this group does. Some may call it a job but I see it as a calling."

Texarkana Emergency Center has events planned today to honor first responders and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to all EMS, law enforcement and fire fighters.

Breakfast takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, 819 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Texas.

Lunch and dinner will be served at any Texarkana Big Jake's Bar-B-Que location and includes a free sandwich with any meat, a non-fried side and a drink.

"I think it's just important for us to recognize them. They are our safety net when we dial 9-1-1. When everyone else is running away from a scene they are rushing toward it. They spend a lot of time away from family and friends to make sure we're safe and cared for. This year's motto is they go beyond the call. which they do," said Dr. Matt Young, physician owner of Texarkana Emergency Center.

National EMS Week was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford to celebrate the important work they do.

"EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." Whether celebrated with a company cookout or a catered lunch; an open house, an awards ceremony or even quiet reflection about what it means to be an EMS practitioner, EMS Week is the perfect time to recognize EMS and all that its practitioners do for our nation," according National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians website.