Volunteer voices: Squad honors O’Malley for life of public service

— Photo by Millie Zuk

Jerry O’Malley, center, is honored by the Helderberg Ambulance Squad on March 25 for 45 years of driving an ambulance. Alan Zuk, president of Helderberg Ambulance, right, also presented O’Malley’s wife, Fran, with a bouquet acknowledging her service as a member of the East Berne Auxiliary.

BERNE — A special recognition was held on March 25 for Jerry O’Malley. Jerry and his wife, Fran, reside in East Berne. Jerry has been driving ambulance for 45 years and he was recognized for the achievement by the members of Helderberg Ambulance Squad.

Jerry has worn many hats over the years. As an employee of KeyBank, Jerry worked for 42 years as chief auditor. Not only did Jerry work full time, but he was, and still is, an active member of the East Berne Fire Company. While with the fire company, Jerry joined the Berne Fire Company in hopes of providing faster ambulance service to the community. Jerry began responding to calls as a fireman.

During his tenure, Jerry served as district chief of the Berne Fire District, chief of the East Berne Fire Company, treasurer of East Berne Fire Company, treasurer of Rural Chiefs Association, president of the East Berne Fire Company, and firefighter.

In addition to his service as a firefighter and driver, Jerry was involved in local government and held the offices as tax collector, town councilman, and committee chairman.

As a member of the Helderberg Ambulance Squad, Jerry has responded to thousands of calls and has served as treasurer, board of director member, and now he serves as radio and pager coordinator.

As part of the recognition ceremony, Jerry was presented with a 45-year pin for his dedication to the squad and the residents of the town of Berne and the town of Knox, by President Alan Zuk.  Alan also acknowledged Jerry’s wife, Fran O’Malley, and her service as a member of the East Berne Auxiliary and presented her a bouquet of flowers.

After the presentation, Jerry thanked the members of Helderberg Ambulance Squad. He mentioned that he has enjoyed being a driver with the squad and that he felt as if the squad was an extension of his family. Jerry acknowledged that the members are like a family and that we all work together to help the members in the community.

Editor’s note: Millie Zuk is a member of the Helderberg Ambulance Squad.

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