Photo: Adobe Stock images

This is National EMS Week, a week honoring the emergency medical services providers in our community.

EMS providers are the first medical contact with a patient and can immediately initiate treatment on scene to help care for the patient, whether it is someone involved in a car accident, suffering a stroke or a heart attack, or a parent needing comfort when a child is sick.

In the local area, emergency services rely on a core group pf highly trained, dedicated volunteers — many of whom hold paid jobs in the field of emergency medicine when they’re not volunteering to serve residents in their hometown.

In the Riverhead Ambulance District, which includes the entire Town of Riverhead outside of the Wading River Fire District, emergency medical services are provided by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a private nonprofit organization under contract with the ambulance district.

In 2021, RVAC’s 120 volunteer members and several paid responders answered 5,417 calls.

Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps is celebrating EMS Week with an open house at its Osborn Avenue headquarters Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The entire community is invited to tour ambulances, learn about equipment used, included AEDs, and receive training in hands-only CPR.

RVAC will also give away coloring books and other goodies to children and provide visitors with free food and beverages. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase to win gift cards to local ​businesses.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand for its Yellow Dot Program and Operation Safe Child ID.

The Yellow Dot program assists people involved in a motor vehicle crash, when they may not be able to communicate their needs themselves. Placing a Yellow Dot decal in your vehicle’s rear window alerts first responders to check your glove compartment for vital information to ensure you receive the medical attention you need. ​

Operation Safe Child was created to raise awareness about child safety. When a child is reported missing, time can be the biggest factor in finding the child. Possessing up-to-date photographs with detailed information about the child can greatly assist law enforcement when responding to a disappearance. These cards contain the child’s full name, date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and more.

“We haven’t had an Open House the last two years due to COVID, so I am looking forward to welcoming the community back in so they can meet our volunteers who put so much time and effort in to helping others, as well as get an inside look at what we do,” said RVAC Assistant Chief James Alfano.

RVAC headquarters is located at 1111 Osborn Avenue, just north of Route 58.

Members of Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps before they participated in an EMS parade honoring health care workers at Peconic Bay Medical Center in May 2020. File photo: Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.