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Ever wonder what it is like to pull someone out of a car wreck? Or how to use a defibrillator.
Anyone who is curious better get ready because in honor of National Emergency Medical Services week the members of the Little Neck-Douglaston Volunteer Ambulance Corps been preparing to demonstrate their equipment to the public at an open house slated to be held Saturday.
Established in 1958, the Little Neck-Douglaston Volunteer Ambulance Corps has been responding to emergencies in the northeast Queens area ever since, said member Louis Calderon.
The theme of the event is answering the call, and were going to show people how we do that, said Calderon, a longtime Little Neck resident who recently moved to Floral Park.
The first open house held by the volunteer organization is expected to include a barbecue and feature tours of the groups headquarters and two ambulances, free blood pressure tests, demonstrations of the groups equipment and the staging of a mock emergency where ambulance corps members display how to rescue someone from a car wreck, Calderon said.
Calderon said volunteer ambulance corps help fill a gap in the citys emergency services safety net by providing backup to city Fire Department ambulances that are often responsible for large geographic areas.
State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) has been a strong supporter for volunteer ambulance corps throughout Queens and recently secured funding for the groups in the still unfinalized state budget.
The men and women who make up groups like the Little Neck-Douglaston Community Ambulance Corps dedicate themselves to saving lives, Padavan said in a statement. These volunteer corps are an essential component of public safety for the residents of Queens. They have my well-deserved respect and admiration, and my commitment to helping them meet their funding and recruitment needs.
The funding proposed by Padavan in this years state budget, which has passed the Senate and was pending Assembly approval this week, would provide college reimbursement of up to $3,400 for people who volunteer in the community ambulance corps. The Padavan proposal would also help community ambulance corps boost recruitment.
With 40 volunteers, Calderon said, the members of the Little Neck-Douglaston Volunteer Ambulance Corps work to answer the call on nightly shifts from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and 24 hours during the weekend.
We respond to anything they call us for, said Calderon, who said the volunteer ambulance corps has an estimated response time of less than three minutes.
Community ambulance corps also give teenagers the chance to volunteer and train with the group, Calderon said.
We have people from all types of professions who volunteer: principals, truck drivers, accountants, registered nurses, Calderon said. Its people who feel like theyre giving back. I hope one day to be able to help someone that I grew up with someone who helped me in my life.
The open house was expected to be held Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Little Neck-Douglaston Volunteer Ambulance Corps at 42-18 250th St. in Little Neck, near the intersection of Marathon and Little Neck parkways. For more information about the open house or the ambulance Corps, go online to www.lndambulance.org.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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