The Wantagh-Levittown Volunteer Ambulance Corps. held its annual EMS Fair at Island Trees Memorial Middle School in Levittown June 9. The fair aims to educate people about what the Corps. is and what the volunteers do.
Stations were set up to teach attendees how to perform CPR; visitors were able to see the inside of an ambulance and children were taught how to dial 9-1-1.
“The kids can build their own first aid kits that clip onto their backpacks or they can take them to school,” said Irene Sabatasso, President of the Wantagh-Levittown
Volunteer Ambulance Corps. (WLVAC)
The fair also included a patient registry, where people can enter their pertinent information including age, emergency contact, allergies, medications, medical history and primary care provider, so if an ambulance is ever called to their house, the paramedics already have information needed to provide help faster.
The WLVAC provides both emergency services and non-emergency transports to individuals within the Levittown and Wantagh fire districts. Non emergency transports are provided to individuals who require more help than a car service can provide, such as those in wheelchairs or who have other special needs.
There is a cadet program for 13- to 17-year-olds, who are trained in EMT-level first-aid and care to become emergency medical technicians when they turn 18. New volunteers were able to sign up at the membership table at the EMS fair.
Among the volunteers at the fair was Tara Ryan, the daughter of 50-year volunteer, Donna Ryan, who spoke about her mother’s time with the WLVAC. “My mother started dispatching for the ambulance corps. before females were allowed to join,” said Ryan, “The wives of the members did dispatching but weren’t actually able to join the Corps.”
Ryan said her mother also did committee work. “She’s done the fund drive for years, she used to do the decorating committee, the membership committee, the disciplinary committee. She’s done everything but ride the ambulance,” Ryan said.
When Donna Ryan was finally able to join the Corps., she joined what was then called the Ladies Auxiliary. Even then, women volunteers were still not able to ride the ambulances.
“By the time is was okay for women to ride the ambulance, my mother decided she didn’t want to do it anymore—she was too old,” Ryan said of her mother.
Ryan left the Corps. after 50 years but continues to do volunteer work in the community.