Dear Summit neighbors,
Since 1962, the Summit Volunteer First Squad has been there for the residents of Summit. For our friends. For our neighbors. For our visiting guests. And in this trying time, our mission has not waivered. We remain here for you.
But like everyone, we are operating differently now. We respond with smaller, two person crews for safety. We have suspended our Junior Program to keep our terrific high school kids out of harm's way. We have honored requests by a few of our volunteers who have vulnerable family members at home to skip regularly assigned shifts. And we have other dedicated volunteers who are stepping up to do more.
We limit access to the building, we observe distancing, we regularly decontaminate equipment and supplies. We have put in place well thought out procedures to protect our members from the time a call goes out until the time the crew returns to the building. And, for now, we have masks and essential PPE and continue to receive thoughtful donations from the community.
As first responders, we provide transport to the hospital emergency room. And right now, emergency rooms everywhere are filled to capacity. Beds are scarce. Staff is overworked. And it grows worse every day. The entire health care system is taxed.
As always, we hope we don’t have to come to your home on a 911 call. But If we do, we may arrive wearing masks. If your condition warrants, we may ask if you can drive yourself instead to an Urgent Care facility to lessen the burden on the hospital.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or suspected COVID-19 symptoms and are ambulatory without life threatening conditions, you should contact your doctor before you contact 911. If we are called to respond, we may ask to speak to you from a distance at the front door. We may ask again that you consult with a doctor first by phone rather than going to the hospital. And for our safety, we may give you a mask and insist that you wear it.
Our level of care and our commitment has not changed, but the considerations imposed by this pandemic are forcing everyone to respond differently. To respond safer, to respond smarter, to respond leaner. As a result, if you need to call 911 for a medical emergency, please be mindful of an overworked hospital system, as well as the safety of all of our first responders; EMS, Police, and Fire.
We are here for you. And we ask that you please help us too, as we help you.
Be safe. Be smart. Be considerate. And we will all get through this.
Summit Voliunteer First Aid Squad