Sen. Jen Metzger (SD-42) held a press conference on Saturday with first responders in the Hamlet of Wallkill to announce $50,000 grants to the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Wallkill Fire District. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and Ulster County Minority Leader Ken Ronk both attended and spoke at the press conference, along with Wallkill emergency medical services (EMS) and fire district leaders.
The grant was made possible by the State and Municipal Facilities Capital Program (SAM). The $50,000 grant for the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps will help pay for an emergency response vehicle. The $50,000 awarded to the Wallkill Fire District will enable them to purchase a generator for their firehouse, which is currently under construction.
“It is very hard for small, rural, volunteer corps to come up with the resources for much needed equipment...,” Metzger said. “It’s more important than ever. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and you need to have the equipment to make sure that we can save lives.”
The Wallkill Ambulance Corps and Fire District were thankful for the grant funding.
“I cannot express how important the support of Sen. Metzger is for EMS and the SAM grant that she secured will allow Wallkill Ambulance to better serve the community with a new emergency response vehicle,” said Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chief Doug Foster. “Her continued support will allow us to continue to provide pre-hospital care to the community for years to come.”
“The generator that we are fortunately able to purchase from Sen. Metzger’s grant will provide emergency power to the building in the event of community power outages and/or natural disasters,” said Wallkill Fire District Commissioner Anne Barnhart. “This also will allow the firehouse to serve as an emergency shelter for the residents of our community. We are appreciative of Sen. Metzger’s efforts to help us secure this grant.”
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan understands the value of volunteer EMS, especially after attending several Sept. 11 anniversary ceremonies on Friday.
“The largest takeaway for me from the events of 19 years, was the realization that on one of America’s worst days, I think we found our best self in that day and in how we responded to the tragedy and the crisis and the fear and the anger,” he said. “And the way that we responded, I think was with a sense of selflessness and sacrifice. When you saw first responders literally charging in to burning and trembling towers, going against every human emotion that every one of us feels. And so the least that we can do for all of our first responders is make sure that you have the training and the resources and the support that you need and that you deserve.”