I joined the Westerly Ambulance Corps in the summer of 2005 with the aspiration of helping others and becoming more active in my community. When I first joined, there was an abundant amount of volunteers, both young and old, who were extremely active. The most menial emergency assignment would prove to be a fight to get on the ambulance. We enjoyed being here. There was a core group of volunteers who took a majority of the calls, and there was rarely a time that a call for service would go to mutual aid.
As the years have passed, I’ve noticed that those same volunteers have moved on to bigger and better things. Whether it’s starting a family, moving out of the district, or having a small business grow into a full-time commitment, we all have obligations in life that force us to make that tough decision: Do I continue to volunteer and be extremely active, or start the next chapter in my life?
The EMS field is constantly changing. Protocols are updated, call volume increases, bigger and better equipment is being produced. The Westerly Ambulance Corps is constantly changing as well. Our organization as a whole has become a top-notch symbol in the EMS field because of our highly skilled and highly qualified members and employees. There’s one thing that is lacking, though: volunteers.
Many of you may not know where our headquarters is located. Unlike departments such as the Westerly Fire Department and the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department, which are located on major roadways, our little headquarters is at 30 Chestnut St. Our doors are always open and there is always someone present to answer questions. The Westerly Ambulance Corps has always been a volunteer-based organization because of our private status and lack of tax base for the town. We are a unique organization and we’re proud of it. But we as a Corps need your help. I’m challenging you, as a person, to come down and make a difference. Come down to Chestnut Street and submit an application. Come down and make a difference in someone’s life.
I can tell you firsthand that there’s no better feeling as a person to volunteer your time for the people of Westerly and Pawcatuck, and at the end of the day have a family member look you in the eyes and say, “Thank you,” because you just helped save a life. There’s no feeling like it in the world. So please, come make a difference for your people. If you have any questions or would like to join a great organization, come down to our headquarters and obtain an application. It’s a decision you won’t ever regret.
Bruce J. Celico Jr.
The writer is captain of rescue for the Westerly Ambulance Corps.