Letter: Changes at Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps

To the Editors:

There is a saying in EMS … “It’s not a job, it’s a calling.” Anyone who is a first responder understands in their heart what this means. Being a volunteer EMT with the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps (WVAC) is something even more — we are individuals who have chosen to dedicate ourselves to a passion without the desire for monetary compensation. We do this without pay because the intrinsic value of assisting others during the worst moment in their lives is not measurable in the material world.

WVAC has been and continues to be one of Wilton’s treasures. Since its creation in 1976, there have been many changes, just as there are in all organizations. WVAC discovered it was against the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to have EMTs volunteering and getting paid for the same job at the same service. Therefore, the part-time EMT employment has been discontinued. In addition, WVAC also eliminated the full-time paid EMT positions due to FLSA as well as the financial considerations.

In addition, WVAC now has appointed directors as part of the overall board of directors. The appointed directors act as a group of advisors to WVAC on matters of organizational structure, financial matters and business practices. Their advice and counsel is important to WVAC and they will assist us in making sound business decisions and moving us in a positive direction.

Our elected directors have also seen some changes. The most recent change has been our president’s announcement that he will be stepping aside as president of WVAC effective this fall.  WVAC will be selecting an interim president who will lead us temporarily so that analysis can be done in order to determine the best long-term leadership structure for a unique organization such as ours.

Membership and fund raising are the lifeblood of WVAC. We hope those who are either currently certified EMTs, or are interested in becoming an EMT, contact our organization. We welcome all as guests to our monthly business meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Prospective members are also invited to contact me via email at ncapelle@optonline.net if they would like to schedule a time to discuss becoming an EMT or get to know WVAC better.

There are some misconceptions about WVAC and one is that we are part of, and financially supported by, the tax collections of the town of Wilton. In fact, we are an independent corporation and rely, in part, on donations in order to continue to operate. Therefore, we conduct an annual appeal so that we may continue to be an integral part of emergency response for Wilton residence and workplaces. We greatly appreciate and value our strong relationships with the other first responders for Wilton, the Wilton police and the Wilton Fire Department. We all rely on each other and work as a team to give the best possible care to sick or injured persons and we take great pride in being able to do so.

Thank you to all who have supported us in the past, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming new members, continuing community educational outreach and being there when you need us most.

Nancy Capelle, EMT

Member, Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Wilton, Aug. 2