Volunteers play a vital role when it comes to timely, life-saving emergency services.
Matt Sproul, the Canandaigua Emergency Squad Chief, and Gina Brown, a volunteer First Lieutenant with the East Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance, discussed the importance of volunteers Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“Having volunteers is extremely critical for the Canandaigua Emergency Squad,” said Sproul. “They help supplement the employees that we have on paid staff to make sure ambulances roll every single day and night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Without the volunteers, we won’t be able to have as many ambulances up in service, and the full crews that we depend on.”
Sproul said at the Canandaigua Emergency Squad there are around twenty one full-time EMT’s and Paramedics, approximately seven per diem EMT’s and about 60 volunteers.
The East Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance is a division of the Canandaigua Emergency Squad. Brown has been a volunteer for the East Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance for seven years. “My son actually got me into it,” she said. “He was a volunteer firefighter, and he asked me, ‘mom, why don’t you want to volunteer?’ And I’ve been a volunteer ever sense.”
She added, “I do it to help out my neighbors. I do it to help out the school children. It’s very fulfilling.”
Brown said a volunteer will undergo training and be required to attend meetings, but there is flexibility when it comes to your schedule. “We choose the nights we want to respond. If the tones drop, we have the ability not to go, if we don’t want to. Then you commit to a night or a day.”
Volunteers help fill out a schedule, allowing emergency services to be delivered without delay. “You want to be able to make sure an ambulance gets out of the door within one minute of a 9-1-1 call,” Sproul said.
EMS volunteers answer close to half of the nation’s 9-1-1 calls, and about 90 percent in the most rural area of states.
For more information about volunteering for the Canandaigua Emergency Squad, click here. You can also visit the local emergency squad in your community.