LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- It takes a special kind of person to be a volunteer emergency responder.
"All types of people become volunteers," Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps Captain Lucian Lipinsky told Daily Voice. "But the thing they all have in common is a desire to selflessly help others in need."
Unfortunately for Lewisboro and many other communities, those volunteers have become increasingly hard to find.
"It's painfully difficult to find volunteers," Lipinsky said. "And we're dramatically short on volunteers - especially trained people, crew chiefs."
The irony there is - once volunteers get a taste of the job, they usually don't leave. Because despite the potential to interrupt any free time a volunteer might have, the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences, according to Lipinsky.
"There are a lot of things people can do in their spare time," Lipinsky said. "But this is probably the only one that can interrupt your nights, your weekends, holidays, birthdays... anything.
"But the rewards are just incredible," he added. "I've been doing this a long time, and once it gets in your blood, it's hard to stop.
"How do you stop - knowing someone needs help, and you're not there,?" he added. "You can take one of the worst days in someone's life, and make it better."
Emergency services like volunteer ambulance units are always looking for new recruits, for civic-minded people looking to help out, and for anyone who might be considering volunteer work, Lipinsky has this advice: "Stop in (any 1st, 2nd or 4th Tuesday) and see what we're about. See who we are - a group with a passion to keep our town special. It becomes like a brotherhood, a family... it's a tightknit, close group."
Watch the video to see Daily Voice talk to volunteers Melanie Marciante (senior, John Jay HS and a second-year member who is Lt. of the Jr. Corp), Riley DeJong (a Fox Lane High grad who attends nursing school in NYC) and Hamlet Cuello (a 4th-year member who grew up in Queens and is now a Cross River resident) about what else they do for work, what drew them to the LVAC, and what they find rewarding about their volunteer work.
For more info on the LVAC, go to lewisborovac.org.