Fire Department and Rescue Squad Seek Volunteers

If you have had personal experience with a medical scare or emergency or a fire in Shoreham, you know that a quick response by trained personnel can be critical to the outcome. First Response and Fire Department volunteers provide the emergency services. They are on call day and night, ready to help their neighbors. To ensure that essential services can continue to be provided whenever they are needed, the rescue squad and fire department need some new volunteers

The rescue squad has only seven volunteers, only two or three of whom work in Shoreham during the day. The fire department has eighteen trained volunteers, but only five or fewer are available on weekdays. When necessary, calls go out to neighboring towns for mutual aid, but those volunteers cannot be on the scene as quickly as someone in town.

Jim Ortuno and Ethan McArdle volunteer as First Responders and firefighters. They work at Shoreham Upholstery, across the road from the fire department, and they respond to almost every call. “Last year there were only about three calls I didn’t respond to,? says Jim, adding that on days when there are several calls, he and Ethan get little of their work done. The shortage of daytime volunteers can create problems. “If only two of us respond to a fire, we can drive only two of the trucks, even though more may be needed,? Jim says with frustration.

Have you ever said or you would like to or should volunteer for your community? Now is the time to do it. “Our calls are not dramatic like those on tv shows. Most medical situations are non-life threatening. We take blood pressure and other vital signs, provide oxygen, and offer comfort. We prepare the patient for the ambulance,? Jim says. Fire department volunteers don’t have to fight fires; they can drive trucks and help outside the fire. The rescue squad averages one or two calls a week, and the fire department, one or two a month.

Fire department training classes meet weekly for five or six months in Middlebury. First Responder classes are twice a week for six months. Both require a few Saturday sessions. Potential rescue squad volunteers may take shorter modular classes to learn one skill at a time. Trained fire department and rescue squad volunteers meet two evenings a month for training, business, and comraderie.

Call Dick Treadway to learn more about the rescue squad and Jeff Treadway about the fire department.

[L.Fitzsimmons, Shoreham News]

One Response to “Fire Department and Rescue Squad Seek Volunteers”

  1. Bill O'Neill, EMT Says:

    I’ve been an EMT on the Shoreham squad for three years. I have to say that being a volunteer EMT for the Town of Shoreham has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

    I know this kind of work may not be for everyone, but if you are even curious, I’d urge you to drop by one of our squad meetings and check it out. (They are on the website schedule.)

    Bill O’Neill, NREMTB

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