Fort Smith EMS and its personnel have become very involved in the community. The service promotes community involvement and interaction on-and off-duty, a significant policy change since 2008, when crews were instructed to only leave their posts to respond to calls. Fort Smith EMS became a Partner in Education with Fort Smith Public Schools in 2009.
Fort Smith EMS and its personnel volunteer their time to assist the school system with school programs and services. Many mornings and afternoons, Fort Smith EMS medics are at the local elementary school assisting school children being dropped off and picked up by their parents. Medics interact with school children, participate in after school programs, and provide a reliable and safe role model.
Furthermore, Fort Smith EMS has supported the school system by assisting with fund raising events, providing financial support for special projects, and providing the assistance of their grant writer. Fort Smith EMS has made monetary donations to the local elementary school and secured grants for the replacement of playground equipment. Fort Smith Public Schools have been very pleased with its partnership with Fort Smith EMS and has expressed its desire for a long-term commitment.
Fort Smith EMS is a 501(c)3 organization and provides charitable EMS services when the need arises or the situation is appropriate. In March 2010, a local ALS patient was informed that she only had weeks to live. The patient expressed to her family that her dying wish was to visit the beach, see dolphins, and return home before she passes. The family attempted to make her dreams come true, but an unfortunate turn for the worse left the patient in a Florida ICU room. The family contacted several agencies attempting to get the patients final wishes fulfilled. Grace on Wings, the local Florida EMS agency, and Fort Smith EMS collaborated to arrange EMS transport to the beach from the local hospital, transport from Florida to Arkansas, and transport from the airport to her residence. Fort Smith EMS donated their transport services to ensure the patient made it back home. It was with great pride, Fort Smith EMS and its personnel was able to assist this patient with achieving her dying wish.
Fort Smith EMS employs a very special and caring group of individuals who strive to make the lives of all they meet brighter. Fort Smith EMS employees began an Adopt a Family program in 2009. EMS personnel became aware of a single mother of three who had recently lost her job. The family was forced to move in with their grandparents, who was living on a fixed income. The children, aged 7, 5, and 15 months, wasn't expecting a Christmas. Fort Smith EMS and their personnel purchased gifts for the family and provided Christmas dinner. On December 23, 2009, Santa Claus arrived via a Fort Smith EMS ambulance to deliver gifts and Christmas dinner. Fort Smith EMS and their personnel contributed more than $600 to this cause. Fort Smith EMS allowed this family to experience the true meaning of Christmas, an experience they will never forget.