Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp balances responding to both emergencies, COVID-19 cases
The sound of sirens feels constant these days, serving as a reminder of the EMTs working tirelessly to keep New Yorkers safe.
EMTs in the Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp have been working extra hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Antoine Robinson is the son of the late James “Rocky” Robinson who founded the Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corp in the late 1980s. He says these days COVID-19 is making things a bit hectic.
“Day to day it is a lot busier. A lot of people are nervous and scared and calling 911 even though they don’t have an emergency, but they just a little nervous about the current situation,” says Robinson.
On top of that, they’ve still got the regular calls
“We still have to handle the regular calls, people hit by cars, car accidents,” says Robinson.
Some things that are different is that they now treat every situation as if the patient has COVID-19, meaning they’re wearing masks no matter what.
They’re also taking extra precautions, carefully cleaning and wiping down the ambulance.
Robinson says being careful is key, but says they’ve been lucky in a sense, receiving lots of donations from the community.
He says in particular packages from a group of students in China who sent over boxes of N95 masks and other protective equipment.
At the end of the day Robinson says it’s a dangerous job, but one that leaves them all with a sense of fulfillment.
“Every life that we save is just one extra life one extra family that you can help. It’s what’s embedded in is us, it’s what’s instilled in us,” says Robinson.
He says the best thing people can do in these times is stay home.