JOHNSBURG - The Johnsburg Emergency Squad is considered a 24/7 ALS (Advanced Life Support) agency. It is a designation that signifies that JES, Inc. provides the highest level of emergency care with paid or volunteer staff members, who are highly trained and legally able to dispense drugs. ALS care 24/7 is worth 17,472 hours in ambulance crew time.
This first third of 2010 has been busy for the 25 active volunteers who have logged 2,093 volunteer hours through March. They have had 195 calls to date. Of those, the duty crew has responded to 100 percent of the first calls dispatched; the volunteers have been able to respond to all but one of second or third simultaneous calls.
Throughout the winter ski season, many members signed up for extra duty on the weekends and throughout vacation days to cover Gore Mt. emergencies. The volunteers with the top hours have been Corey Ouellette, captain with 92 hours in Jan.; Tonya Leddick with 78 hours in Feb.; and Donna Georgopoulos with 126 hours in March.
The Johnsburg EMS increased its number of people stepping up to become new volunteers. Eight people were added to the roster since January. Some are drivers, some are aides, some are trained EMTs. The agency also needs volunteers who could form an auxiliary corps-people who might service the ambulance, maintain the station, do administrative tasks, organize and execute fundraisers. An EMS auxiliary would be the supportive arm that the emergency medical volunteers could lean on.
At present, JES is looking for people to help provide non-emergency transports to and from the hospital. These transports usually occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the day and a volunteer would sign up to be available on a particular day to take a transport if one were called for. Anyone wishing to serve by driving (without lights and siren) should contact Trish Bibby, transport coordinator at 251- 3521.
Another type of volunteer effort has been a grant request for $400,000 to the NYS Community Development and Building Renewal department that JES, working through the Town of Johnsburg and Warren County Planning, recently submitted. It is anticipated that the award will allow the agency to construct new headquarters at a lot on the old Great Eastern sawmill site. The Sweet family, owners of the old saw mill land, has made a generous offer to Johnsburg Emergency Squad, Inc. through the auspices of Mark Bergman, realtor.
Volunteers are the backbone of this agency. If the taxpayers had to pay for 24/7 service, it would cost a minimum of $380,000 per year to station one two-person crew with an ambulance. The contribution by JES volunteers, in strictly monetary terms, is worth $320,000 to the Town of Johnsburg. Call 251-2244 to volunteer in some capacity to support the Johnsburg Emergency Squad.