The Value of EMS Volunteers
May 18, 2017
To the Editor:
This year’s EMS Week (May 21-27) theme, “Always in Service,” perfectly describes New Jersey’s volunteer EMTs. No matter the emergency, weather, time of day or night, they are out there giving freely of their time and effort. They continually train to improve their skills, volunteer in community events and provide emotional support to patients and their families.
They dedicate countless hours maintaining their buildings and equipment, providing community education and raising funds for their organizations. Despite the missed holidays and family gatherings, and the dangers they sometimes face when answering calls, our EMS volunteers ask nothing in return except respect.
Even with the heartache of losing several of their own longtime members this year, including a past president, and then mourning the loss of fellow EMT Yadira Arroyo, who was killed after her ambulance was carjacked in the Bronx, our EMS volunteers remain focused on the positive aspects of what they do. One crew recently resuscitated a drowning toddler; another saved a cardiac arrest victim with CPR. One newly certified EMT helped deliver a baby.
New Jersey’s EMS volunteers are your friends and neighbors. Please support and thank them for all they do. Perhaps even consider joining their proud ranks.
-Joseph G. Walsh, Jr.
(Joseph G. Walsh, Jr. is president of the 88-year-old nonprofit EMS Council of New Jersey, which represents approximately 20,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with nearly 300 rescue squads throughout the state.)