COUNTY OF SUFFOLK
SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE
|EDWARD K. SPRINGER
CHIEF FIRE MARSHAL
Joseph F. Williams
John G.Jordan Sr.
|EDWARD C. SCHNEYER
DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
April 15, 2013
In light of the outstanding performance by members of our volunteer community during Hurricane Sandy, Blizzard Nemo and other difficult storms and events throughout this past year, I can think of no better time to celebrate National Volunteer Week. The aforementioned events once again brought to the forefront the tremendous dedication, skill and contributions of not only our Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services community, but all of the other volunteer agencies and groups that demonstrate such constant and selfless dedication to the citizens of Suffolk County.
The dispatch, activities, organization, and training of the Volunteer Fire Service, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Suffolk County Police Auxiliary and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) are largely coordinated and supported by the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services. The volunteers of these assorted groups number in the thousands and dedicate countless hours of their time annually to the citizens of Suffolk County.
The Volunteer Fire and EMS service of Suffolk County is comprised of more than 13,000 active volunteers who responded to more than 150,000 emergency calls last year. Although the true value of their service to our citizens is priceless it was last estimated that the value of a volunteer hour in New York State is approximately $28.73 per hour. It is further estimated that without the protection provided by our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel the taxpayers of Suffolk County could be faced with a 19.7% increase in property taxes. The Volunteer Fire and EMS personnel of Suffolk County are highly trained, skilled, unpaid professional emergency responders that provide an invaluable service to their fellow residents.
CERT volunteers, MRC volunteers, Suffolk County Auxiliary Police volunteers and VIPS provide supplemental assistance to the Fire, EMS and Police forces of the County on a regular basis. During major events and disasters their assistance plays a pivotal role in the ability of responding emergency services to be able to continue to provide the same level of protection to the public despite the changing and possibly deteriorating conditions and circumstances. All of the aforementioned groups are also aided by organizations like the SPCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and others who support our efforts on a regular basis.
Although most of these volunteers don’t require or look for thanks and commendations to continue to provide the services, it is with great pleasure that I take a moment in celebration of National Volunteer Week 2013 to thank that volunteers of Suffolk County for all that they do. I encourage all residents of Suffolk County to join me in thanking our volunteers and I encourage people to consider joining one of the excellent volunteer service organizations that exist in Suffolk County. .
Joseph F. Williams