The tensions surrounding the response times of Croton Volunteer Emergency Services came to a head on Monday, at an uncomfortable Board of Trustees meeting, where Richard Nagle, the appointed liaison between the Board of Trustees and the Croton Volunteer EMS, presented his report on the agency.
According to Nagle, there are only 27 active members in the Croton Volunteer EMS, to cover about 700 calls per year. The current figure is the result of roll cleaning, after Nagle took inactive members off the roll. Figures quoted to The Daily Croton on June 15 estimated the membership rolls at nearly double the confirmed membership.
Every time the Croton Volunteer Ambulance Corps responds to a call they must have a full crew, this includes a driver and an Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT. Of the 27 active members in the organization, only seven are trained as both drivers and EMT’s, and are residents of Croton. One member is on extended medical leave.
Bill McCabe, president of the Croton Volunteer EMS, said, and members of the Croton EMS present at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting agreed, that about the same “12 members” show up to most calls. “The town is not participating in EMS,” said Jonathan Ghegan, a volunteer. “In this society it’s harder to get people to volunteer when both people are out,” said McCabe, about having two working members of a household, and about recruiting new members. The social aspect of the volunteer organization, which is usually credited with retaining volunteer members in fire departments and volunteer EMS, has been in disrepair for some time according to members.
Members were personally donating the money for social events, according Mark Dickey, First Lieutenant and Chairman of Membership and Recruitment, until eventually most social functions of the organization stopped.
A Request for Proposal has been submitted, and largely drafted, by the Croton EMS to hire an EMT in the interim period, during which the Croton EMS will attempt to solve the response time problem. The proposal will be voted on by the Village Board of Trustees in upcoming sessions.
Despite tensions between the Board of Trustees, the Croton Volunteer EMS and vocally concerned members of the public, it was clear that the members of the Croton Volunteer EMS were extremely dedicated. This extended to a comical moment when Charlie O’Connor, a loyal member of the ambulance corps, announced he had “left a nice roasted chicken at home, and ate it cold,” in order to respond to a call.