RVAC honors top responders, longtime members at annual dinner

02/26/2014 1:00 PM |
(Courtesy photo) Lifetime achievement award winner Betty Harris (third from left) accepts her award with Corps board members Ron Rowe, Keith Lewin, Bruce Talmage and Kim Pokorney and Chief Joseph Oliver at the corps' dinner Saturday night.

Lifetime achievement award winner Betty Harris (third from left) accepts her award with Corps board members Ron Rowe, Keith Lewin, Bruce Talmage, Kim Pokorney and Chief Joseph Oliver at the corps’ dinner Saturday night. (Courtesy photo)

The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps inducted new members, recognized top responders and honored a longtime member with a lifetime achievement award at its annual dinner and gala at the Long Island Aquarium Saturday. 

Betty Harris, a member of the department for 33 years, was given a lifetime achievement award for her readiness to respond in any situation, officers at the corps said.

“No matter what time of the night, if a call goes out and a driver is needed, Betty will be on her way,” said assistant chief Lisa Corwin. “Betty is ready with a smile on her face, even in the most difficult situations.”

Peter Kane Jr. — an EMT and ambulance driver — was honored as Corpsman of the Year for his dedication to the ambulance corps, despite living miles away in Centereach.

“Whenever any of the other members can’t make their shift, Peter is always there to cover, to make sure that we have someone around to answer the calls,” Ms. Corwin said.

Mr. Kane became a volunteer when he turned 18 in 2011 while studying as a freshman at Stony Brook University.

“I have learned a tremendous amount during my time with Riverhead Ambulance, and above all love applying the medical knowledge I’ve gained as a volunteer to make a difference in someone’s life during an emergency,” he said.

Of the corp’s members, Amanda Paparatto was the top responder for 2013, having rushed to 337 calls during the year.

Ms. Paparatto joined the RVAC out of High School in 2010 as a way to get experience for her nursing degree. She said making a difference in her patients lives is what keeps her volunteering.

“I like to know I have helped someone feel more at ease during their emergency, whether it by holding their hand, administering a medication, or even just talking,” she said.

Corrine Kindya was named Rookie of the Year by the corps, and two sets of “lifesaver awards” were given out to two ambulance crews who saved patients using CPR.

Chief Joseph Oliver, Diane Birkel and Ray Bonner earned two lifesaver awards as members of both teams. Nick Sadowsky, Kristen Kurtz, Bruce Zummo, Randi Peralta, Ira Margulies and Tommy Capiello also won the award.

psquire@timesreview.com

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