Brian

General Member

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“On snowy days when only a few students could make it to the school where I taught, we used to go sleigh riding on a small hill beyond the playing field. Naturally, it was filled with trees making the ride perilous, and of course one of my students ran right into a tree. They asked me (With there being no school nurse, I was apparently the next best thing… as the science teacher) if I thought his arm was broken and, being the “expert” I was, I said no… It was. I soon found myself taking a first aid course at the local ambulance corps and joined them in providing EMS

to the residents and visitors of Edgewater. Three towns (Edgewater, Mahwah, and Fair Lawn) and more than 40 years later, I am still serving as a volunteer in my home community. Most of the people we interview for membership say that they want to “give back to their community” or that they plan on going into medicine. Those are noble reasons and I’m sure I answered the same way when I first interviewed. But it has become so much more than that… the members become part of your family. We share countless hours together; cold wintry nights, steamy summer days, snow, rain, holidays and yes, missing some family events. We also share in the tragedies of others; heart attacks, strokes, broken limbs, sick children, falls, motor vehicle collisions, and those who are beyond our help. We bare our own emotions to each other and comfort one another after difficult calls. Maybe we are closer than family.

As a senior member of the ambulance corps I act as a preceptor to our newer cadets and probationary members, teaching them not only the ins and outs of being a member of the Corps but also the intricacies of taking care of patients. They will learn how to be an EMT in school, but they also need to learn how to comfort both our patients and their families and how to reassure patients that we care and that we will take care of them. You know, the human touch, physical and emotional. That is something they won’t get in school and the part of my job that I enjoy the most.

I am sure that I have “given back to my community” by now, but I have gotten so much more from them. The warmth and compassion shared by members of the Corps, the fun we have together (Yes, we do try to have fun.) and the emotional and intellectual growth we share as members helps us grow as a community. I have learned something from each and every one of them and I thank them.

Community growing community. What could be better.”

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