BEDFORD, N.Y. This Saturday, Bedfords volunteer EMTs are reaching out to the community they serve to ask them to support their work.
The Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Saturday night to benefit their all-volunteer organization, which has over 100 active members.
Its very rewarding to be able to help your neighbors and to be able to help your friends, said Event Organizer Donna Perez, a nurse who lives in Bedford Hills. Perez, who is co-chairing the dinner with volunteer Gerry Moskowitz, said she occasionally has people stop her on the street and thank her for helping them.
The volunteer EMTs do basic care on medical calls while accompanied by paramedics who handle more advanced care, like administering medications and intubating patients. Volunteers need to be CPR certified, must undergo six months worth of classes and take a state test and a skills test. The minimum requirement for volunteer hours is six hours a week.
The Corps' First Lieutenant Rick Carone, an electrical engineer by trade who lives in Bedford Hills, has been on the squad for 28 years, and even met his wife through volunteering. He said that it is satisfying to be able to help people in a real hands-on way.
You know that youve done something real, youve helped somebody who was in pain, in distress, and that really makes a big difference, Carone said. Were providing the community with emergency medical services 24 hours 7 days a week, and almost equally important is the fact that we are serving our neighbors."
Carone and Perez both agree that the job of an EMT is not for everyone, but those who do it come from all kinds of backgrounds: young people, retired people, professional health workers, even Wall Street businesspeople. The only real requirement, Perez said, is that the person wants to help others above all else.
The reason Ive lasted in the ambulance corps as long as I have is that I have a true desire to help my community and to help others and that is what makes someone stay year after year, said Perez, who has been a member for almost 23 years.
The spaghetti dinner is on Saturday May 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Katonah United Methodist Church at 44 Edgemont Road. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and $6 for seniors.
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