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Glen Cove honors volunteer EMTs for their sacrifice, service

Conor Lynch, 18, center, captain of the Eagle

Conor Lynch, 18, center, captain of the Eagle Scout explorer program, stands with others in front of the Glen Cove volunteer fire department Sunday, May 21, 2017, where a monument was dedicated to emergency medical service workers who have died. Lynch attained his Eagle rank for the monument. Credit: James Carbone

The service and sacrifices of Glen Cove’s volunteer emergency medical services corps were recognized Sunday with the dedication of a memorial plaque at Glen Cove’s volunteer fire department.

Before the corps was created 32 years ago, the city relied on auxiliary police with emergency medical technician training, said Carolyn Willson, one of the founders who had been Glen Cove’s deputy mayor at the time. Her late husband, Thomas Willson, is the first of five names on the plaque that lists those who served in the corps and have since died. She was trained as an EMT and he was a driver and the corps became like family she said. “You’re working under such intense situations,” Willson said.

Today the corps includes 20 paid staff who work with about 60 volunteers and they receive 3,400 calls a year, EMS chief Charles Valicenti said.

The dedication kicks off Glen Cove’s EMS week, a national week of recognition of emergency medical service providers.

The plaque, which is bronze set on stone with room for additional names, was the Eagle Scout project of Glen Cove resident Conor Lynch, 18, who is also the captain of the Explorer EMS post at the corps. Explorer posts are a Boy Scout-affiliated program that exposes youths to various careers. “They dedicated their lives, their resources, their time to serving our community,” Lynch said.

The project began about 18 months ago when Lynch was looking for a project to earn his Eagle Scout rank before his 18th birthday, which was earlier this month. The first step was to make a presentation to the Glen Cove City Council and get approval to install it on city property.

Next he had to raise about $6,500 for the monument itself, which he did through his church, family, organizations and going door to door to make his pitch. It was finished and installed April 27.

“I learned a lot about not procrastinating,” Lynch said. He plans to take the EMT exam next month but pursue a career in law enforcement, he said.

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