Flanders ambulance seeks volunteers, especially drivers

07/09/2013 3:02 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

The Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps is in need of volunteers, especially ambulance drivers.

Wayne Ehlers, the ambulance chief, and Joe Colao, an EMT, made that appeal to the Flanders Riverside and Northampton Community Association meeting Monday night.

“Anybody that can put some time in,” Mr. Ehlers said. “We need drivers during day, weekends, and evenings. We train everybody to drive the ambulance, you don’t need a special license. You can go as far as you want, as far as training goes. You can be a EMT, or if you’re not so much into the blood and guts, you can just drive.”

The corps also has a youth squad of young people under the age of 16 whom members train slowly and allow to ride along on certain ambulance calls, he added.

“There’s no better feeling than when you help somebody and you get back, it’s a great feeling,” Mr. Ehlers said. “I’ve been doing it for 20 something years.”

“Our job is very simple, all we do is take care of people,” Mr. Colao said. “Right after the first responders, and hopefully at the same time, the ambulance arrives, and the ambulance is really an emergency room on wheels.”

Mr. Colao said he volunteers both with Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and with an ambulance crew in Florida in the winter.

He said drivers are the biggest need.

The ambulance corps provides all the training needed, he said, and people can pick whatever hours they are available for.

“The pay is great…it’s zero,” he joked. “But it’s so rewarding.”

The corps’ non-emergency number is 727-6930.

tgannon@timesreview.com