Whether it’s a fire crew responding to a fire or EMS performing CPR, it has to be done in order to save lives.
Squad Leader of Rolette Ambulance Service Diane Arstein said, “It was just a realization that in order to be helpful to the community I needed to step it up.”
Arstein has been working with the Rolette Ambulance Service as an EMT and Squad Leader for the last five years as a volunteer because of the necessity of the service.
“If we didn’t have this volunteer service it would take half an hour or longer for an ambulance to arrive at an emergency and if it is truly a heart attack or some sort of trauma and bleeding that is incredibly long,” Arstein said.
She told KX News through state grants, donations and other funds things like equipment and staff training, is somewhat, if not fully, paid for, but the trouble lies within finding extra volunteers.
“Volunteer indicates you are not getting paid. You get paid a small stipend, but in order for people to spend a considerable amount of time, which is why we’re short on day drivers, is because people have jobs. You have to pay your bills no matter how good-hearted you are. Bills do need to be paid,” she said.
One volunteer says missing work never comes easy when you have life obligations, but she says all of that tends to mean nothing when she actually responds to a call.
“It seems like at the time that it’s a lot of time missed from work, but like I said, once you’re out on some calls and see that you’re really needed, it doesn’t seem quite so bad missing work anymore,” Rolette Ambulance Service Volunteer Joellen Gilje said.
The staff currently consists of about 16 people and if you are interested in joining Arstein says the requirements aren’t many.
“We’re always open to new members, to be a driver you just have to be 18 or older, have a clean driving record and a willingness to help out,” Arstein said.
There will be a free CPR and ambulance training this Friday at 9 a.m. at the Rolette Ambulance Service station.