Volunteer Voices: The average age of Helderberg Ambulance’s top five responders is 71

Welcome to the heat of summer. The ambulance squad has been busy.

In the month of April, there were 30 transports and 26 non-transports and in the month of May there were 31 transports and 22 non-transports. Also in the month of May, there were four calls where medical attention was refused and five stand-by calls for Albany County.

The majority of calls in April were Advanced Life Support and in May they were Basic Life Support.

Helderberg Ambulance had two clean-up days. These are the days when the station, the ambulance, and the outside of the station are cleaned. Thank you to everyone who came and helped. Many hands made the jobs easier.


Seeking recruits

On June 8, Alan Zuk, Neal Hogan, Rosemary Gebe, Ray Schimmer, Millie Zuk, and Bill Callahan attended the Knox Town Board meeting.  

On June 9, Alan Zuk, Neal Hogan, Rosemary Gebe, Ray Schimmer, and Deb Flagler attended the Berne Town Board meeting.

At the town board meetings, Alan presented the five-year plan for Helderberg Ambulance Squad.  Alan informed the members of the boards that the ambulance squad is currently able to answer 9-1-1 calls.

Alan noted that, due to the aging of the top responders, the squad is one illness or accident away from having to have Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the town of Guilderland, or another squad respond to our calls.

He noted that Helderberg Ambulance is also responding to mutual aid calls for MEVAC, Scho-Wright, Duanesburg, and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

The average age of the top five responders is 71. These five responders are doing 64 percent of the calls. Alan informed the town boards that the members of Helderberg Ambulance have voted to stay active and to try and recruit new members.

The town board members were informed that, if Helderberg Ambulance were no longer able to respond to calls, the cost of Basic Life Support emergency medical services would increase. This cost would ultimately be passed on to the taxpayers.

The members of both town boards agreed to partner with Helderberg Ambulance in this recruitment effort.

The members of Helderberg Ambulance have started the recruitment drive. We would like to welcome two new members Leo Vane of Berne and Justin Parker of Westerlo.

On Saturday, June 19, Beth Jones, Millie Zuk, Stephanie Carpenter, and Rich Liddle were at the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church Tag Sale in an effort to recruit new members.

We would encourage you to attend our next meeting if you are interested in becoming a driver, attendant, or emergency medical technician. The squad will meet on Thursday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the station located on Cole Hill Road in East Berne.

On Friday, June 25, the ambulance will participate in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo parade honoring the Class of 2021. We would like to thank you, Ray, Carrie, and Neal, for volunteering to participate in the parade.

Look for the ambulance and squad members at the fireworks display at the Berne Town Park on July 3.

The ambulance and squad members will also be at Camp Woodstock Family Fun Day on July 10.

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