Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps members outside their headquarters at the 2022 open house. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Tomorrow is the start of National EMS Week, a week honoring the emergency medical services providers in our community and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps is celebrating with an open house at its Osborn Avenue headquarters.

RVAC provides emergency medical services to Riverhead Ambulance District, which includes the entire Town of Riverhead outside of the Wading River Fire District. RVAC is a private nonprofit organization under contract with the district. 

Members of the ambulance corps are 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. The efforts of volunteer EMTs are supplemented by paid responders, who help the organization cover the increasing EMS demands of the growing Riverhead community.

Last year, RVAC answered 5,504 calls, a 22% increase over 2021 and a 25% increase over the average number of calls in 2019 through 2021, according to data published by the organization.

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.

RVAC hosts its open house on the first day of EMS week each year to give residents of all ages a chance to meet the EMTs, tour the ambulances, learn about equipment used, 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 donated by over 20 local ​businesses.

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

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.

The open house will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. RVAC headquarters is located at 1111 Osborn Avenue, just north of Route 58.

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