Have you thought of volunteering but just didn’t know what you wanted to do? Are you caring? Helpful? People oriented? Do you like doing a job that is rewarding? Do you have a few extra hours a week/month that are empty? Well look no further. WE need you and YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU.
Why do we need you? This Ambulance squad responds to over six hundred calls a year, placed by residents of Ontario as well as the surrounding communities. Calls come into 911 at all hours of the day and night and we strive to respond to those calls within a very restrictive time limit, usually 10 minutes. Since most of the people who volunteer for us have jobs and families, this is a goal that is sometimes difficult to meet. Each separate time frame presents its own set of challenges. People go away on weekends; some work during the day, others work at night, and still others work rotating shifts. Even the seasons can present challenges with member’s schedules.
The more manpower we have available, the more likely we will be able to cover those calls. That makes YOU part of a TEAM striving for one purpose only: to serve the community with a timely response to emergencies and effective medical skills consistent among all members of the corps.
OVES supplies all of the equipment and training needed to stay current with lifesaving skills. There are many different roles needed inside our organization so that we may serve this community. Associate members serve behind the scenes, doing many of the vital roles that keep OVES running smoothly. If you want more hands on, think about becoming either a driver or medic. All of our drivers receive training and play a vital role in OVES. If it weren’t for our drivers, how could we transport our patients safely to the area hospitals? Our medics are skilled in emergency care and are very professional. You could become an EMT in as little as three months. OVES offers our community emergency medical care from qualified EMT’s up to Paramedics.
Looking to join our family. All it takes is for you to submit an application. Once approved, you are on your way to a most rewarding challenge that is both fulfilling and in much demand. Our “family” has become close, as we work together with one another under many different situations. We often are found together around town enjoying each other’s company. Many lasting friendships have begun through OVES. We have been known to get our families together for camping trips. Many months we have game nights, potluck dinners or card parties that are organized by our social committee. At our Christmas celebration we even have a visit from Santa who brings gifts to our children. And need I mention our yearly banquet. WOW! So as you can see we truly are a family.
Still undecided, contact any one of our members who would be happy to answer any of your questions, give you a tour, whatever it is that you may need to make your decision to become a member of the OVES family. Contact us TODAY!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the 911 system work?
We use a pager system. That is, when someone calls 911, it is answered at the 911-call center in Lyons. The dispatcher sets off our pager alert tones and follows with basic information about the call. Our members respond to the base and take the ambulance, together as a crew, to the scene (a home, roadway, school, business, doctors office etc.)
Is there a commitment that is required?
We require members to ride a minimum of 36 hours every quarter (3 month period). One full shift (12 hours) every month is all that is required to hold your commitment. We also require attendance at 3 monthly meetings (held on the first Wednesday of the month) per year for training purposes. We do keep track of how much time each member is riding, and those that are not putting in their required time will receive a letter reminding them of their commitment. Unfortunately, termination of membership is the result when the requirements are not fulfilled.
How do I get started?
Your experience will begin with an orientation tour of the base and rigs. We will answer all of your questions and collect your paperwork. You will receive training in Emergency Vehicle Operation, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens. You will then receive a uniform and pager. The next part is to decide whether to pursue medic training or driver training. The driver training consists of instruction and a driver CEVO class, taught by one of our CEVO instructors, followed by 6 to 10 transport observation calls. The medic training consists of taking an EMT course, which can be completed in 5 months. If you are a member for at least a year, the squad will cover the costs of this training. You will be required to have 6 to 10 observation calls mentored by one of our preceptors. The entire process takes some time, but if you are proactive and committed to getting it done, then you can finish the process in the shortest time possible.
Do I have to stay at the base when I’m on call?
No. Most of our members respond from home or elsewhere within the community, within a 5-mile radius of the base and we carry our pagers with us. The base however has 4 bunks, just incase we do need to keep a crew in house (i.e. Ice storm).
What are the rules when I’m on call?
When you are on call you must be wearing your uniform or have it readily available so that you may get to the base as quickly as possible. You must stay within 5-miles of the base and have your pager charged and turned on. You must not consume any alcohol 8 hours prior to the beginning of your shift. The “one- hour per serving rule” does not count. You must also be in contact with your crew chief before the start of your shift, so that they are aware of your availability. If you have committed to being on call with your crew, you are required to respond to all calls during the shift or hours that you have committed to.
How can I get myself to the base faster?
There are some good ideas for a faster response. The goal is to be in your car and on your way to the base before the second tone drops (two minutes!) Wear your uniform until you go to bed, keeping it ready to put on quickly. Keep your shoes, keys, and I.D. by the door. We have even heard of keeping Listerine or gum in your vehicle. Keep your car and driveway cleared of snow and ice. Don’t speed; it won’t help if you are stopped!
12-hour shifts… Do I have to be available for the whole 12-hours?
No. Many of our members are only available for 6-hours or any portion of their shift. We appreciate anything you can give!! Please communicate to your crew chief, prior to the start of your shift, the hours you are available, so that they may find coverage.
No scheduled crews during the weekdays? Why?
We have scheduled crews that run on weeknights from 6pm to 6am. On Saturday and Sunday, crews are scheduled from 6am to 6pm, and 6pm to 6am. There are no crews scheduled on weekdays because there are not enough people available during this time. Most of our members work during the day. During the weekday we scramble for a crew, and Crew -share with Williamson. Any call that is paged out as a scramble is open to the first 3 to 4 people who show up or answer up on their radios.
What if I want to ride during the day when there is no crew scheduled?
If you’re available during the day, it is advised that you contact someone else who might also be available. If you record the hours you are available, then you must be available, dressed in uniform with your pager on, and willing to respond to any calls during that time. Just being in town and willing to take a call if you aren’t busy at the moment, does not qualify you to record those hours.
I hear people responding to the scene. Should I go to the scene too?
The only people who respond straight to the scene are our C.A.T. team medics with the equipment and medical training to handle any situation until the ambulance gets there. You should never respond directly to the scene, you are to go to the base and assemble your crew. The only exception is when there is an ambulance and crew on scene and they request additional manpower or help with lifting. This is the only instance when you may consider going to the scene. A Brief Overview of Requirements and Procedures for Each Position
Must be 21 years of age with a clean license. All drivers obtain Professional CPR and First Aid Training, CEVO, blood borne pathogens and a rig orientation.
Must be 18 years of age. Medics are generally Emergency Medical Technicians or EMT’s. Once you have passed the NYS EMT course and exam, you are recognized by the state as a medic.
These are members who have joined us to assist us in other capacities than treating patients. They assist with record keeping, setting up functions, and support us in maintenance chores and many other behind-the-scenes jobs. They also help out at the base when it is used as shelter during evacuations.
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