“One of the things that makes Lancaster a great community is an organization like LVAC,” said Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak. “The dedication, the time they put in training and education to serve their community is what makes Lancaster such a great place to live.”
LVAC celebrated its 60th year of providing emergency medical care to Lancaster and Depew with a banquet held Feb. 9, 2013 at Salvatore's Italian Gardens.
During the banquet hosted by Channel 2 meteorologist Kevin O'Connell, the LVAC board of directors was sworn in by Surrogate Judge Barbara Howe, proclamations were presented and awards for service were given out. The banquet marks the kick-off to LVAC's year-long celebration titled "Continuing to Meet the Challenge."
Official proclamations congratulating LVAC on 60 years of service were made by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, the Depew school district, the Lancaster school district, the Depew Village Board, the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lancaster Town Board.
See more photos from the banquet. And watch video from the banquet program:
"One of the things that makes Lancaster a great community is an organization like LVAC," said Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak. "The dedication, the time they put in training and education to serve their community is what makes Lancaster such a great place to live."
"When we go to bed at night we all have the best looking over our shoulders," said Depew Deputy Mayor Jules Pecora. "We have LVAC that comes to our rescue 24/7."
John Adolf, an LVAC paramedic who is also deputy commissioner of Erie County's EMS divison, gave special recognition to LVAC's life members in the crowd including Larry Pohl, Nancy Revelas, Greg Jankiewicz, Nancy Franjoine, William Revelas and Chester Popiolkowski.
Many of the public officials who spoke recounted their personal experiences with LVAC.
"Many times we have situations at school and [LVAC] is there quickly and gives comfort to all our students," said Lancaster High School Principal Cesar Marchioli. "On behalf of the district, all I can say is thank you."
"When I got stung by a bee you took good care of me, got me on that IV and got that Benadryl in", said Town Clerk Johanna M. Coleman. "Without you doing that thousands of times a year there would be a lot of people we wouldn't have the fortune of seeing the next day."
"Two years ago I was in the back of the ambulance," said Megan Burns-Moran, Executive Director of the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce. "I really appreciated your time and attention taking care of my car accident."
The keynote speaker was Timothy Kelly, superintendent of St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo. Kelly commended LVAC for partnering with St. Mary's in 2012 to receive sign language training for its EMS providers.
"In Lancaster, the volunteer ambulance corps recognizes the need to improve communication with the deaf," he said.
Also during the banquet, the LVAC training room was named in honor of founding member Paul Welker and a $2,000 scholarship fund for advanced care providers was set up in honor of LVAC paramedic Greg Jankiewicz.
"When you walk into Tops, Wegmans or the church and someone says 'If it wasn't for you and your group I wouldn't be here today,' it's all worthwhile right then," Welker said.
Length of service awards:
1 year: Bryan Park, Andrew Parker, Donna Wypych, Sean Hall, Nancy Campbell, Robert Riley, Ryan Wager, Rosemary Wells, Nick Zielinski
5 year: Todd Okoniewski, Jeff Bono, Allison Revelas, Charlie Basher, Mark Reinhard, Amanda Popiolkowski
10 years: Chester Popiolkowski, R.M. Herget, Mark Wetzler, Elizabeth Bordonaro, Kevin Przybyl
30 years: Bill Revelas
35 years: John Adolf, Nancy Franjoine, Greg Jankiewicz, Nancy Revelas
60 years: Paul Welker
Top 5 squad hours:
Todd Okoniewski, 1,343 hours; Andrew Parker, 1,257 hours; Nick Zielinski, 1,210 hours; Jeff Bono, 1,062 hours; Ryan Wager, 930 hours
Top 5 page calls:
Todd Okoniewski, 100 page calls; Mark Reed, 83 page calls; Tim Marshall, 69 page calls; Jeff Bono, 50 page calls; Polly Thoman, 47 page calls
Top 5 calls taken:
Todd Okoniewski, 195 calls; Andrew Parker, 176 calls; Nick Zielinski, 156 calls; Ryan Wager, 117 calls; Jeff Bono, 50 calls