“Neighbors helping neighbors!”

Dedicated volunteers have kept the Owego Fire Department Emergency Squad in continuous emergency medical service (EMS) to the residents of Owego and, through mutual aid or contract arrangements, all of Tioga County since 1948.  You too could be part of this great tradition.  The Squad is always looking for compassionate men and women of all ages as drivers, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) of all levels, and others for behind the scenes support.  Experience is not necessary; we will train you.

To be a Squad member (driver or EMT), you must be of sound character and be a member of the Owego Fire Department.  You need not be a “green tag” or interior firefighter.  Drivers must have a current New York State (NYS) driver's license.

In order to assure 24/7 coverage, all Squad members are expected to commit to particular time periods to be available to answer calls.  Typically this is a 6 or 7 hour block on a week-day (between 5 am to 6 pm for drivers), or an overnight (6 pm to 5 am) week-night (for drivers and EMTs).  Also typically, about once a month each member takes a 24 hour weekend shift.

The OFDES fleet.  Left to right:  852 is the “fly-car” emergency response vehicle, most often used for Advanced Life Support (ALS) assists to other agencies and as the overnight take home vehicle for the on-call ALS provider.  831, 832, and 833 are type III ambulances, each of which has the patient compartment module mounted on a Ford specially prepared E‑450 cutaway chassis.  All ambulances are ALS equipped.
OFDES vehicle fleet

Driver

The job of a Squad driver is to safely transport crew and patient in an ambulance.  Each of the Squad's ambulances has a gross vehicle weight rating of about 11,000 pounds (5.5 tons).  This requires special driving practices while starting, stopping, and cornering.  When the stress of emergency operations is added, the task requires concentration and a well controlled demeanor.  The Squad requires each driver to:

At times, a crew chief may ask a driver to act as the "safety officer" during the evolution of a complex call.  While there is no requirement to do so, a driver may progress to become a NYS Certified First Responder or EMT.


EMT

NYS requires an EMT on every ambulance transport.  To become a NYS Certified EMT a person must:

The knowledge and life skills required to complete such a course are consistent with a high school or equivalent education.

To be successful as an EMT you must be able to work with other EMS providers, communicate effectively with patients and bystanders, quickly make appropriate patient care decisions, and clearly document pre-hospital care.

While varying with the chief instructor for a particular course, a basic EMT course typically requires a commitment of about 120 hours over the course of several months.


Support Personnel

While not voting Squad members, the Squad enjoys the support of people who provide support in various ways.  There are many tasks that at various times non-members have performed for the Squad.  Some are one-off; others are recurring.  Examples include:

We are open to ideas.


Contact Us

Squad membership is fulfilling and personally rewarding.  You provide your time; the Squad provides all training and equipment.  You get to reap the benefits of a sense of accomplishment, the gratitude of your community, and the comradery of a prestigious organization.

Any of the Squad's officers or members would be please to talk with you about membership.  Alternatively, you can contact us via email.


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Reviewed: 13 March 2016