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Ossining Ambulance Corps Seeks Volunteers

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps received a record 2,315 calls last year, and one thing is quickly becoming clear.

“We desperately need more volunteers,” said OVAC Chief Sam Lubin. “Last year’s number is extremely high considering the size of our community.”

Lubin said OVAC averaged roughly 1,500 calls a few years ago but he has seen the number steadily increase. At the same time, OVAC has averaged about 30 volunteers helping as EMTs, drivers and paramedics. With OVAC receiving roughly 530 calls through March 2011 and receiving 610 calls through March this year, it’s not likely to decrease, Lubin said.

“As our town increases in age and we get more and more calls and more and more people coming in, it’s just going to keep going up,” Lubin said. “So we are definitely looking for some additional help.”

All but a few administrative members of OVAC are volunteers and average about 24 hours a month, Lubin said. The group is comprised of dentists, computer technicians, attorneys and more.

Volunteer EMT and Captain Nick Franzoso, now 28, joined OVAC’s Youth Corps when he was 16 years old.

“The group that we have really is like a family. They’re all dedicated to doing something for their community and they’re all there for the greater good,” Franzoso said.

Franzoso works in Rockland County during the day but averages around 30 hours every month volunteering for OVAC. Fitting in time as an ambulance driver and EMT is easier than people think, he said.

“For some people, getting in 24 hours a month might seem like a lot but we’re not going to turn people away who can’t do that,” Franzoso said. “Even working a few hours would be a huge benefit for us. It doesn’t have to be driving or being an EMT because we need help in operations too. If people want to work six hours a month, that’s great.”

For Franzoso, it would be difficult to cut back. Not because of his schedule, but for his desire to do the job.

“I personally enjoy it too much,” he said. “I not only enjoy the people I work with but there’s an atmosphere of learning to this job and there’s always something new. No two calls are the same so you always learn a little bit more and there’s always that opportunity to learn.”

OVAC’s only requirement for volunteers “is a desire to give something back to the community,” Lubin said. Those interested in driving are asked to have a clean driving record but uniforms and New York State approved training come courtesy of OVAC. National Honors Society members can also obtain community service credit. Those interested are asked to call OVAC at (914) 487-3091 or email ossiningvacmembership@gmail.com .

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