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 years 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, its 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, its 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 OVACs Youth Corps when he was 16 years old.
The group that we have really is like a family. Theyre all dedicated to doing something for their community and theyre 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 were not going to turn people away who cant do that, Franzoso said. Even working a few hours would be a huge benefit for us. It doesnt have to be driving or being an EMT because we need help in operations too. If people want to work six hours a month, thats 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 theres an atmosphere of learning to this job and theres always something new. No two calls are the same so you always learn a little bit more and theres always that opportunity to learn.
OVACs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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