To the Editor:
I’m writing to thank the thousands of emergency medical services (EMS) volunteers throughout New Jersey who spent many hours, if not days, answering calls for help during and after Hurricane Irene, or standing by at their squad buildings, waiting to be dispatched. 
They spent precious time away from their families and sacrificed their time off from work to venture into the miserable, dangerous weather to help strangers – all for no pay, but rather a sense of satisfaction.  Then again, that’s what New Jersey’s EMS volunteers do on a daily basis.  The Hurricane Irene response was simply a magnification of business as usual for these volunteers.
Such massive, coordinated responses during catastrophes and potential disasters would not be possible without EMS volunteers.   I hope this letter not only encourages New Jerseyans to show their appreciation for their EMS volunteers, but also inspires more than a few individuals to join our ranks.  For information on becoming an EMS volunteer, visit or call (800) 390-8991.
Barbara Aras

President, New Jersey State First Aid Council