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Emergency Medical Services Week; Thank You to Our Dedicated First Responders

This coming week, May 19 th -25 th , 2024 is Emergency Medical Services Week. In
fact, this year marks the 50 th Anniversary of the week-long federal recognition of
the men and women who provide critical front line medical treatment and transport
to those in need.


Our country’s EMS professionals serve in a broad range of roles, including
providing highly skilled medical and trauma care in an ambulance, serving as
educators, practicing community paramedicine, and conducting research. These
dedicated volunteers and professionals are often the difference between life and
death, and are there for us at some of the most difficult times anyone can


Clarkstown is blessed to have five top-notch volunteer ambulance corps, Nanuet,
New City, Congers-Valley Cottage, Nyack, and Spring Hill Ambulance Corps.
Every one of these organizations works tirelessly to protect and save our citizens.
Each of these corps is staffed with dozens of volunteers, many who are emergency
medical technicians and respond whenever 911 is called. While each corps
supplements its membership with paid members, they are still largely dependent on
the service of volunteers to ensure the Town is covered twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.


In addition to our volunteer corps, the town has a contract with Rockland
Paramedic Services who respond to every call in the town needing paramedic
services. Two medic cars are stationed in the town at all times and respond to
thousands of medical calls.


These first responders are true heroes in our community. Every year the Town
makes sure to recognize their heroics and lifesaving efforts at individual corps or
the Town’s annual police awards ceremony. Clarkstown’s recognition of these
heroes will take place this coming Saturday, May 18th at 9AM outside the
Clarkstown Police Department.


The Town held another special recognition ceremony for our EMS workers this
past Tuesday evening. Each of our ambulance corps had at least one representative
in attendance and the Town offered a proclamation and certificates to each one,
expressing our sincere gratitude for all that they do.


Our emergency medical services are amongst the best of the best—both in the
quality and professionalism of their work and in their willingness to donate their
time in these lifesaving efforts.


On a personal level, my son joined the fraternity of the emergency medical service
community over two years ago. While he does not work within the town, I have
witnessed firsthand both the stress and joy that our medical first responders face.
One moment you are doing a simple medical transport, the next you literally could
be applying a tourniquet at a major accident. It is not easy work, or an easy career
path – but it is one that is absolutely rewarding and transformative. I am so proud
of my son and all of our emergency medical service staff members.


But our gratitude alone isn’t enough; every one of our corps needs more help.
Please consider volunteering. A friend of mine, a chiropractor who recently sold
his practice and retired, told me that he had just completed his EMT course and is
now a volunteer with New City Ambulance Corps. Two of the representatives from
Congers-Valley Cottage are retired and soon to retire police officers. So no matter
your age, if you are looking for a new career path or to volunteer some time in
retirement, the emergency medical services are a place to consider.


In closing, no ceremony, certificate or column will suffice to offer exactly how
grateful and indebted we are to the small group of volunteers who provide these
essential services. The term hero is often overused, referencing athletes and
entertainers. However, the term really refers to our soldiers, our police, firefighters,
and our emergency medical service staff members. So next week, please say thank
you to any of our EMS staff you may see. They deserve far more than a week—but
it’s a start to say thank you for the life saving work they provide.