April is National Volunteer Month, so I thought it would be fitting to share my experience here at Small Dog Electronics. Up until March of 2008, I was a volunteer ambulance driver in our local community’s volunteer rescue organization–the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service (www.mrvas.org).
During the roughly three year period in which I participated, Small Dog Electronics allowed me to be “on call” every Friday and to respond to well over 100 emergency calls during my tenure as a volunteer. While this two or three hour distraction, three or four times a month caused some inconvenience, in that it affected overall productivity for the day, the benefit to the community in helping our neighbors in need was certainly worth it.
Just in 2008 I responded to over 15 calls for anything from recreational related injuries (snowboarding/sledding/skiing/snowmobiling), to automobile accidents (rollovers and collisions), to some more tame calls like your basic “lift assists” or other more minor injuries (allergic reactions, etc).
In almost all cases, the patients were very thankful for the help, and I was even called at home on one occasion by a parent going out of their way to thank everyone involved in what was a stressful incident in their lives for themselves and their child.
Although I have chosen to leave the organization as a full time, trained member, I hope to volunteer for the ambulance service in some capacity in the future as Small Dog Electronics requires employees to take paid time off to commit to community service. There are many volunteer squads who do not receive appreciation from their communities until they are needed, so please get out and be preemptive in this regard.
Visit your local rescue organization when an open house event occurs, or go to that periodic pancake breakfast. Donate money or subscribe to the emergency service, if offered. Better yet, get involved and volunteer yourself.
You’ll be satisfied that you did.