More volunteers are needed to respond to a growing number of emergency calls
Prompted by the rising number of local calls for emergency assistance and the nationwide shortage of volunteer first responders, Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad has launched a proactive recruitment and awareness campaign: The Power to Save Others is In Your Hands. Share it.
Clinton First Aid & Rescue serves Clinton Township, the Town of Clinton, Lebanon Borough, and portions of Union Township and Franklin Township. The squad responded to 2,614 calls for medical assistance or rescue in 2014 alone, a nearly six percent increase from the previous year. In 2015, calls are projected to top 3,000 – an astonishing call volume increase of nearly 15 percent in a single year, and more than 25 percent since 2012.
“We are dedicated to providing the highest quality emergency care to all who need our help, but we need more volunteers to help us continue to do so,” said Clinton First Aid & Rescue Chief Frank P. Setnicky. “The recruitment slogan really says it all: With the right training, anyone willing to make the commitment literally has the power to save lives.”
A new website, www.joinclintonems.com, is the cornerstone of this new campaign. The site contains information about the many volunteer opportunities available with Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad and allows those interested in volunteering to fill out an application. Prospective volunteers can also call 844-4-Clinton (844-425-4686). In January, every household in Clinton First Aid & Rescue’s service area will receive a brochure with information about the tremendous service the organization provides to the community and how to contribute by becoming a volunteer. Current volunteers will also deliver this important message in person at community events.
Many Don’t Realize These First Responders are Volunteers, and that More Volunteers are Needed
Many residents served by Clinton First Aid & Rescue do not realize it’s largely volunteers providing treatment to patients before and during transport to the hospital and rescued residents from the water or trapped in cars, collapsed buildings or other dangerous circumstances. The non-profit first aid and rescue squad employs a small number of career Emergency Medical Technicians to cover the hours when most volunteers are at work, but the majority of Clinton First Aid & Rescue personnel are donating their time.
“People often assume our entire staff is paid, and that the cost is covered by our municipalities. But it’s actually Clinton First Aid & Rescue volunteers performing the vast majority of the services we provide our community,” Setnicky said. “I believe more people will volunteer once they know how much volunteers are needed.”
Previous Experience Not Required
No one is expected to have the necessary medical or rescue skills when they walk in the door. Once a volunteer commits to the organization, training is provided at no cost.
Professionally, Adam Nordmeyer, 29, works in sales and marketing for his family’s contract manufacturing and assembly company, Bihler of America. But Nordmeyer, who grew up in Pittstown, wanted to help people in his hometown. About two years ago, he volunteered with Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad. He says what’s happened since then has changed his life.
“You never know what you’re going to see, what you’re going to do, who you’re going to treat, or whose life you might be saving that day,” he said. At least two weekends a month, he serves volunteer shifts with Clinton First Aid & Rescue and often also volunteers for extra shifts or to attend community events where EMTs “stand by,” in case someone needs help.
Many Volunteer Opportunities Available
Clinton First Aid & Rescue needs volunteers in all categories:
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide immediate care to the ill and injured and transport the patient to the hospital.
- Rescue Associates are EMTs or firefighters who also rescue people from life-threatening or hazardous circumstances, such as being trapped in vehicle after an accident.
- Water Rescue Associates use specialized skills to rescue people during water-related emergencies, such as boating accidents or floods.
- Cadets are our youngest volunteers, ages 16 and 17. Cadets receive much of the same training and serve in many of the same ways as our other volunteers, and can quickly become full-duty members at age 18.
There’s Nothing Else Like Volunteering with Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad
Volunteering takes commitment, dedication, and time. But Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad members say the payback is unimaginable.
Nordmeyer said the friendships he’s made at Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad are unlike any others he’s had. “You really have to learn how to work as a team to best take care of your patient,” he said. “You have to lean on each other and support each other, and the bond it creates is unique.”
For more information about Clinton First Aid & Rescue Squad and its new recruitment and awareness effort, please visit www.joinclintonems.com. To set up an interview with Chief Frank Setnicky or another volunteer, or to make arrangements to visit a training session, please call Kellie Gates at 215-884-6499.