Posted by Leo Karl on Feb 15, 2018
Robin Gestal and Alison Bedula, volunteers with the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps (also known as NCVAC), are joined by Rotary Club President-Elect Keith Simpson after making a very informative presentation to our members.
 
NCVAC provides a vital service to local residents and the volunteer commitment of its members is second to none.  We are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated individuals in our midst who spend countless hours ensuring us that quality medical attention is close at hand.  For a small town without a hospital, the speed and quality of response to medical needs is remarkable!
 
Robin Gestal and Alison Bedula, volunteers with the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps (also known as NCVAC), are joined by Rotary Club President-Elect Keith Simpson after making a very informative presentation to our members.
 
NCVAC provides a vital service to local residents and the volunteer commitment of its members is second to none.  We are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated individuals in our midst who spend countless hours ensuring us that quality medical attention is close at hand.  For a small town without a hospital, the speed and quality of response to medical needs is remarkable!
 

They started by making sure that everyone was aware of the location of their building – across the street from the Methodist Church.  The organization was founded in 1975 by the Interfaith Service Committee as a bare bones operation whose first “ambulance” was a used hearse.  Sort of a “scared straight” approach to healing as they pulled into a patient’s drive.  They currently have 40 active members who staff the building 24/7/365 – a truly remarkable commitment.  The Town contributes $55,000 to their annual budget, much of which is used to pay the one professional medic who is always on duty.  The balance of their budget, which supports three ambulances, two fly cars, necessary supplies, and the building, is provided by a grateful citizenry on a volunteer basis.  While they have no user fees, many recipients of their incredible care donate generously following an encounter.  They handle almost 2,000 cases each year, coming at irregular intervals [they reported a recent experience responding to six calls in an hour and a half].  The volunteers not only have to operate the vehicles and respond to calls, but also are responsible for conducting the extensive required training, recruiting, bookkeeping, fund raising, marketing, building maintenance, etc.  They are reviewing their requirements for volunteers in an attempt to make them more flexible to allow participation by more people at different stages in their lives.  If interested, in either the core mission or one of the ancillary activities, give them a call.  The NCVAC is an incredible organization, made up of committed volunteers, who provide a life and death service to Town residents at no charge.  Another example of why New Canaan is the next station to heaven.