BY ROBERT J. LITTLE, J.D., EMT
This week, May 15, 2016 through May 21, 2016, is National EMS Week. Celebration and acknowledgement for the services rendered, and lives saved, by those who serve as first responders include Nyack Hospital’s BBQ and Good Samaritan Hospital’s EMS festivities at Provident Bank Park.
As the general population in Rockland County, and America, lives longer, and one of the fastest and steadiest growth fields in the job market continues to be the health care field, the state of EMS volunteerism has unfortunately been in decline. To promote retention of volunteers many corps offer remuneration in the form of small annual real estate tax breaks from the county, or pool passes from the town pool. Some Volunteer Ambulance Corps give small gift certificates from major department stores like Walmart or Target, or Christmas gift certificates based upon the amount of hours volunteered during the calendar year. New York State is one of many states that incorporates a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP), a program that awards a pension-like benefit to individuals who have exhibited a commitment of 20 years or more service to a volunteer ambulance corps, or fire department, in the county.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact your local ambulance corps. The county EMS training facility can be reached at 845-364-8923 or http://www.rcemsacademy.org.