PITTSFORD - Driving north on Route 7 past Arch Street in Pittsford, it's easy to miss a non-descript gray building on your right. If you reach the Pittsford Fire Department station traveling toward Brandon, you've already missed the grey building-just like I did.
While the old grey lady may appear a bit shabby - it's a building that once had plans for updating but were never completed - you'll come to know that appearances are only skin deep; the building is home to the award-winning Pittsford First Response squad.
All Pittsford First Response Squad members are trained in emergency medicine to at least the First Responder Level, with many holding Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-basic and intermediate certifications. The Pittsford squad is the primary response agency for the Rutland County towns of Pittsford, Florence, and Chittenden.
The Pittsford squad is comprised of 11 individuals who are on call to protect and serve their various communities: Peri Swan (EMT-B), John Costales (EMT-B), Marsha McMahon (EMT-I), Marie Fitzgerald (EMT-B), Robert Foley (EMT-B), Melody Shaw (EMT-B), Ashley Loso (ECA), Josh Felion (EMT-B), Kara Samplatsky (ECA), Marc Muth (EMT-I), and Scott Mooij (EMT-B).
There's a lot to handle in the Pittsford area 365 days a year twenty-four hours a day for eleven people who have families, work and other commitments. So when they cannot respond for lack of coverage the 9-1-1 dispatcher knows to alert another ambulance as their backup.
"First Response" is a part of the greater Emergency Medical Services (EMS) network, and involves providing pre-hospital emergency medical care to the sick and injured. Pittsford First Response is dispatched first to an emergency in their local service area, while Rutland Regional Ambulance is en route to continue care and transport to the nearest facility.
Pittsford First Response does not usually transport mainly due to the fact of lack of personnel. Yet in cases of mass casualty incidents; like a bus accident, they have the ability to transport. They are also able to transport when Rutland Regional Ambulance or Brandon Rescue is not available due to responding to other emergency calls.