Volunteer voices: Helderberg Ambulance answered 286 calls so far this year

— Photo from Mildred Zuk

Three members of the Schenectady Art Society volunteered their time and talents to paint the sign in front of the Helderberg Ambulance Cole Hill Station.

The month of August was very busy for Helderberg Ambulance. There were 44 calls in August, which is 20 percent more than last year. There have been 286 calls since January.

During August, there were 13 days when there were two ambulances out at the same time. The squad continues to answer stand-by calls for Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Once again, the members logged in over 1,300 volunteer hours for the month.

Pam’s Natural Cuts sent several coupons to the squad members for a $3 discount off a haircut. This was Pam and Katie’s way of saying thank-you to the members.

The Hilltown Seniors surprised the members with homemade cookies and bottled water. Thank you, Alyce Gibbs and Mary White, for delivering the goodies to us.

Brian Thornton of Altamont Physical Therapy presented a program on lifting safely for drivers and EMTs. Brian reminded us all to lift with our knees and not our backs. He stated that the number-one cause of disability to ambulance-squad members is due to back pain.

A special thanks to Debra Carpenter, Laurel-Le Lipski, and Vince Forte Jr. from the Schenectady Art Society. These three people volunteered six hours on Friday, Sept. 4, to paint the sign in front of the Cole Hill Station. The sign looks great! Another surprise was that each of the volunteers donated a painting to be displayed at the Cole Hill Station.  Thank you, Stephanie Carpenter, for arranging for the sign to be painted.

My daughter teaches high school English downstate and she sent me a picture of a poster on display at her school. The poster heading is “Did You Wash Your Hands?” Remember these three concepts: STOP. THINK, WASH YOUR HANDS.

Ask yourself: Did I just go to the bathroom? Am I about to eat? Did I just eat? Did I touch supplies or objects that other people touched? Did I touch garbage? Did I touch my cloth face cover? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, be sure to wash your hands. In the present day pandemic, this is a good guideline for us all.

Stephanie Carpenter and Ray Schimmer spent a day in Guilderland, learning to be CPR instructors. Thanks for your dedication.

Last month, customer surveys were sent to 180 people who were transported by Helderberg Ambulance. The response level has been great! We sent these surveys out to determine if residents are satisfied with our level of care.

We welcome two new volunteers who are seeking to help the squad in a non-medical way. Maureen Abbott and Wilma Warner have volunteered to do some data recording for the squad. Thank you both for volunteering.

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