Down to just a handful of members in December, the Cobleskill Rescue Squad is now in good shape.
But the squad is still recruiting more members.
Rescue Squad Captain Mike Lent delivered the good news to the Cobleskill Village Board last Tuesday, reporting that the squad has nine emergency medical technicians and 14 members.
Those numbers are up from just four EMTs and nine members when Mr. Lent became captain in January.
Also helping is an EMT paid by Schoharie County and on duty daily from 6am to 6pm.
New members have joined the squad after passing required exams, Mr. Lent said.
“We can pretty much cover 24/7,” he said. “It took a lot of work.”
Mr. Lent’s unsure the source of the sudden resurgence in interest but said that members “do it as volunteers because they love it.
“A lot of people are new and they have a passion for it.”
It was back in January that Mike Hartzel, the county director of Emergency Services, met with Mayor Becky Terk, Ed Brandt of the county’s Emergency Medical Service and others to consider what to do.
“It was a good meeting. . .we talked a lot of things out,” Mr. Hartzel said. “But Mike’s done a good job of turning things around.”
Mr. Lent is hardly a stranger to the rescue squad. He was Cobleskill’s captain for nine years before leaving because of burnout.
“There was just me and another EMT and we had 800 calls in one year,” he said of those times. “I went on probably 700 calls myself.”
His son, Michael Jr., urged Mr. Lent to get involved again, so he stepped up.
Burnout remains a concern, Mr. Lent said, and that’s why he’s recruiting new members. With more members, responses won’t fall on just a few.
“It could be as simple as being a driver,” Mr. Lent said.
Anyone interested can call him on his cell, 518-528-9293.
Also, teenagers 15 to 18 years old can join the junior EMS, Mr. Lent said.
“They can’t drive, but they can go on calls and learn the basics,” he said.