Tupper Lake rescue squad elects new board

TUPPER LAKE – On April 17, The Tupper Lake Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Squad elected a new board of directors: Stuart Burnett, chief of operations; David Dukette, assistant chief, John Miller, secretary; Phyllis Amell, treasurer; and Michael Provo, as chief of maintenance.

The new board appointed both a day and night time supervisor, Sue Strack and Dick Sabin.

Melissa Perham was voted in as secretary in April, due to circumstances was unable to finish out the year, she turned over her position to John Miller.

The board also added a new Emergency Medical Technician Basic to its organization, Michael Provo.

Provo joined the rescue squad on April 18, 2012 as a driver and soon decided he wanted to do more. On Sept. 27, 2012 he began the Certified First Responder training, which is a 16-week course, and on Jan. 17, he became a CFR.

After just a four-day break from the CFR class ending, a EMT-B class was offered. Mike signed up for this class and started a new set of classes in January. The EMT-B class is a total of 22 weeks. On July 30, Provo received his certificate and finished at the top in his class.

Also, attending and completing the EMT-B class to recertify was Tom Sciacca.

The rescue squad has a tech on duty 24 hours a day, including paramedics Bob Collier, Jordan Favro and Bruce “Buzz” Sawyer. EMT-Critical Care techs are Vern James, Debbie Zerrahan and Miranda Ward.

Volunteer EMT-Basics include Melissa Perham, Stuart Burnett, Phyllis Amell, John Miller, Tom Sciacca, Michael Provo, Susan Nolde and David Filsinger.

The rescue squad’s volunteer drivers include Wayne LaPierre, Josh Phillips, Dick Sabin and Sue Strack. The volunteer EMTs also drive when needed.

The rescue squad is always in search of volunteer drivers. One does not need to become an EMT to volunteer with the rescue squad. Members can do as little as one call every three months. Members are encouraged to attend seven meetings a year, but is not mandatory.

The EMTs have to continuously go to trainings and classes to keep up their certificates. They depend on the donations of the community and the insurance payments to make this happen.

On Aug. 17 the members of the rescue squad and members of the Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department attended a Landing Zone Safety and Utilization class from Life Net of New York. This class was held at the fire hall on High Street to help orientate local police, fire and EMS on the procedures. This was followed by a training with a Life Net helicopter at L.P. Quinn Elementary School field on loading patients into the aircraft. Two helicopters can now be utilized are Lifeflight and Life Net of New York out of Potsdam, in the event that a patient needs to get to a trauma center.

The rescue squad is a nonprofit agency and depends solely on the insurance checks and donations.

If someone needs to call the rescue and does not have insurance, there is no charge. However, for those who are fortunate to have health insurance, the insurance companies do provide for the patient’s transport and care provided by the rescue squad.

For anyone who receives a check from their insurance company to pay for their transport to the hospital is asked to bring the check to the station or mail it to Tupper Lake Volunteer Ambulance, P.O. Box 901, Tupper Lake.

For more information or for an application, contact any member of the rescue squad.