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TVAC Honored as Volunteer Agency of the Year

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June 27, 2024

At the culmination of a week-long series of events held to celebrate National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week last month, Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TVAC) held an ice cream social at their headquarters, which was enjoyed by TVAC’s volunteers, staff, and board members, along with village trustees. Members of neighboring town volunteer ambulance corps from Irvington and Sleepy Hollow also joined in the celebration.

Tarrytown Mayor Karen Brown presented TVAC with an official proclamation recognizing its contributions to the Village of Tarrytown and declaring the week as EMS Week in Tarrytown. Earlier in the week, TVAC received the coveted award of Volunteer Agency of the Year presented by Phelps Hospital.

In addition, at the Westchester County EMS Awards ceremony on May 21, two TVAC members received prestigious individual awards. Walter Hoo III received the award for Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider of the Year and Ramon Kapoor for Volunteer EMS Provider of the Year.

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National EMS Week is an annual occurrence, its main purpose being to show appreciation for the many selfless people who volunteer and work in the field of EMS, celebrate the history and successes of EMS, and raise awareness for the continuing challenges they face. This year marked the 50th anniversary of EMS Week and was focused on the theme of “Honoring Our Past. Forging Our Future.”

TVAC is a non-profit organization established in 1967 as an all-volunteer operation providing emergency medical care to members of the Tarrytown community. Today, most crews are made up of certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and trained drivers to ensure patient care is available to the community 24/7.

Because TVAC is not designated by New York State as an essential service like fire and police, they do not get any state funding. Until that time comes, it highlights the importance of volunteers, donations and funding from the Village of Tarrytown.

Lauren De Sanctis, Chairwoman of the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said, “In 2023, we responded to over 1,400 calls. We are proud to have maintained an average response time of just 2.1 minutes. Every time one of the two ambulances goes on a call, it is because someone needs help, and needs it fast!  The crew can go home knowing they made a huge difference – sometimes, saving someone’s life.  We need volunteers who truly want to make a difference in their community.”

TVAC continues to actively recruit new volunteer members, but this has become more difficult due to shifting demographics within the town and people with more limited availability.  The decline in volunteerism has been a challenge. Volunteers are needed for full or partial shifts on crews – training is free, as are uniforms and required courses. Volunteers can pick the hours that work for them. Volunteers can also do office work for TVAC. All ages are welcomed and no experience is needed.  DeSanctis added, “All you need is a good heart and the desire to make a difference. You will enjoy a tremendous feeling of camaraderie and family with fellow tvac members.”

TVAC has always been active within the Tarrytown community, attending and supporting town events throughout the year such as parades and street fairs, and offering CPR classes to the public.

If you would like to learn more about TVAC, please visit the website www.tarrytownems.org. Information is available on how to donate or volunteer.

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