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EMS holds open house

CHESTERTOWN The North Warren Emergency Squad sponsored an open house on Saturday, Aug. 18, at their newly renovated Route 9 location. The public event was held to give community members the opportunity to visit the facility, ask questions, and meet the staff and volunteers of the squad.

The open house also coincided with the public unveiling of a backup generator system designed to keep the EMS facility operational in the event of a power outage, and to serve as a temporary emergency shelter for community residents. The system was funded by grants secured through the cooperation of state Sen. Elizabeth Little who was also on hand to tour the facility and meet with the squad members.

With a membership comprised predominantly of volunteers, the squad is working actively to recruit new members as the demand for their service increases.

According to Department of Health statistics, EMS calls are increasing 12 percent each year, noted EMT Bill Gardner. We attribute that to the increasing number of second home owners and summer visitors to the area.

From its 5,400 square-foot facility, the squad commands three ambulances supported by a roster of 59 active and supporting members. They provide emergency services to a 160-square mile region encompassing the towns of Chester and Horicon with mutual aid provided to surrounding communities. The squad also employs paid staff from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with the remaining time shared among active members.

Our goal is to provide good patient care, said Second Lieutenant Lisa Fish. We want the community to know that they can come visit any time, to see what we do and learn who we are.

The recent renovations to the facility were achieved primarily through the labor and material donations of members and community supporters.

We want this facility to be something that the community can be proud of, said Fish. The building incorporates office space, meeting rooms, sleeping quarters, recreation, and dining facilities.

We couldnt do it without the support of our families, said squad member Aaron Connell. Theyre the ones who are left home at night or who understand why we have to leave when our own power might be out.

In addition to the visit by Senator Little, highlights of the event included a visit by Albany Medical Centers Life Net helicopter, landing at the newly constructed heliport. Attendees were able to observe the helicopters equipment and meet its flight crew.

For further information or to inquire about membership, the squad can be reached at 494-4317.

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