Making a difference

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 8:45pm

Right around this time, every year, you can see the toll that the summer takes on the volunteers who staff the Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad. The calls just keep on coming, day after day, without discrimination in terms of time of day, and without discretion in terms of the severity of the injuries. It’s challenging work, in part because there are not quite enough people to do all that is needed.

In this week’s edition, Rescue Squad Crew Chief Beth Rousseau lays out why the need for more people to help staff this department is so necessary, and why, if at all possible, as many of us who live here should take the Emergency Medical Technician class that will be offered this September. This job is as integral to the quality of life on the island as the beaches are to its economy. One cannot overstate the importance of the Fire and Rescue Squad.

There are fewer than 10 people who do this work with any consistency throughout the year. That’s not enough. But as you think about whether you have the time to do this work, it’s important to remember what Beth says at the end of her interview with us: “The result will be overwhelming joy for you. You saved a life… you made a difference… you mattered.”