Submitted by Rene Karas.
(Feb. 1, 2019) — Haddam Volunteer Ambulance has had a motto from our beginning; “Friends for Life.” This is part of our vision. It means we are going to be there for you when you need us.
2018 was a difficult year for HVAS. As is seen in many areas, recruiting volunteers is more difficult than ever, and volunteerism has been on a steady decline for more than twenty years. We at HVAS are always looking for volunteers and hope to help reverse this trend. As Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Can you be that someone?
In 2018, one of our two ambulances had to be taken out of service permanently last January. The repairs required to make this unit safe and roadworthy were too costly given the age and condition of the ambulance. HVAS set out to purchase a new ambulance which was delivered to us at the end of December. During 2018, HVAS also encountered some maintenance issues with our lone in-service unit. In order to continue to provide uninterrupted emergency medical service to our community, HVAS had to borrow ambulances on many occasions from our mutual aid partners.
Haddam Volunteer Ambulance Service would like to thank the following for their continuing support:
- East Haddam Ambulance, who loaned us their back-up ambulance three times over a four-week period, we cannot thank you enough for your support and couldn’t have continued to provide services without your unit. This loan was especially appreciated as it was during the holiday season.
- Chester Hose Company for loaning us an ambulance
- the folks at New Image Automotive, Mike’s Auto Service and Northeast Diesel for keeping our units running
- the first responders from HVFD who respond to many of our calls
- The EMTs from Emergency Resource Management who help us staff our ambulances
- The citizens of the Town of Haddam, who with your tax-deductible donations and tax dollars have helped support us in our mission since our inception.
Although 2018 was a difficult year for HVAS, there were also some bright spots. In early 2018, HVAS held a delayed celebration of its 40th anniversary at the Gelston House. Many original members were present and reminisced about the old days of HVAS.
HVAS is privileged to have one founding member left on its active duty roster. Rudolph “Rudy” Durinick celebrated his 40-year anniversary with HVAS and to this day, has one of the highest levels of duty hours and calls responded to in the organization. In a future article, we want to share with you our vision for the future of ambulance service in the Town of Haddam.
In closing, all of you have helped us, and we thank you. You are our Friends for Life.