LVAC's mission is to provide expert and compassionate pre-hospital care to patients we encounter. Our primary patient encounters are within the town of Lewisboro with both residents and others just passing through. However, we also play a vital role in the network of northern Westchester County volunteer ambulance corps by providing "mutual aid" coverage for our neighboring towns in situations where they are unable to cover a call. Those towns' VACs likewise provide mutual-aid coverage for LVAC, all designed to help ensure prompt medical assistance when there is a call for help.
LVAC is a Basic Life Support ("BLS") agency. The Town of Lewisboro is one of several towns in northern Westchester County which is also covered by an Advanced Life Support ("ALS") agency providing paramedic service - Westchester Emergency Medical Services (WEMS). On ALS calls, a WEMS paramedic is also dispatched to the scene along with LVAC. We work closely with WEMS, and our other partners in the Emergency Services.
In addition to responding to emergency calls, LVAC also provides standby coverage at local events. You can see us at John Jay High School varsity football games, the annual Leatherman's Loop Run and Raven's Rock Run, fire department open houses, and at other fairs and events as requested. We also provide CPR instruction, through our affiliation with the American Heart Association, to in-town groups such as teachers, firefighters, boy/girl scouts, coaches, community organizations and any other group interested in learning this valuable, life-saving skill. See our "Community Programs" page for further information.
LVAC is not part of any town, state or government agency. We don't receive any tax-based funding. Instead we rely on the generosity of our community, and other insurance reimbursement for our funding. LVAC will never deny emergency medical transport because of lack of insurance.
Our team of dedicated volunteers
is prepared to respond 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
In 2021, LVAC responded to 414
emergency calls for help.
The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC) was founded in 1977. It began with one used ambulance (see above) and a rented garage in Cross River.
In 1981, the current building at 777 Route 35 in Cross River was dedicated. On land leased from the Town, our new headquarters building was built by citizens of the town, who contributed their hard work and expertise in various fields of construction, equipment and materials. As our numbers grew, so did our space requirements. Accordingly, our building was expanded and improved in the early 2000's giving us much needed space for training and administration.
Today as always, LVAC is made up 100% by volunteers. No position at LVAC receives any salary. Our dedicated members are listed on the Members page. Over 2/3 of our members are NY State certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) and over half of our members are certified by LVAC to serve as drivers of our ambulances. Our roster includes junior members, between the ages of 16 and 18, many of whom are students at John Jay High School. Every single member of LVAC is trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Basic First aid, assisting in the use of EpiPen autoinjectors, and how to use Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AED's).
In order to deliver first-class prehospital patient care, we need more than just people - we need first-class equipment. Today, LVAC operates with two state-of-the-art ambulances and two first response vehicles ("fly cars"). All of our vehicles are equipped with the supplies and equipment mandated by the New York State Department of Health. Beyond that, all of our vehicles are also equipped with AED's as well as automated CPR compression devices ("LUCAS devices") providing us the best opportunity to deliver early defibrillation and high-quality continuous chest compressions; both of which are keys to cardiac arrest survival. Our vehicles also stock all of the medications that EMTs are authorized to administer (including epinephrine, Narcan, albuterol, glucose, aspirin and oxygen). Our two ambulances are both equipped with Stryker power cots and power loaders which enable the fastest and safest loading and transfer of patients. LVAC's combination of medical expertise, first-class equipment and fast transport can be the difference between life and death.
In addition to what is aboard our vehicles, we have more than a dozen Lifepak AEDs deployed around town. Most of our EMTs carry an AED in their personal vehicle for rapid deployment. LVAC EMTs are also trained to use and carry Syringe-based Epinephrine (for the treatment anaphylaxis), Albuterol (for the treatment of asthma), Glucometers (to aid in assessing potential diabetic emergencies), tourniquets, oxygen, and more. LVAC believes that by providing our volunteer EMTs with these potentially life-saving items, we can enable more rapid delivery of EMS when it is needed.
You might think that you need a medical background in order to volunteer at our ambulance Corps - You would be wrong! As a 100% volunteer organization, our members come from all walks of life. In fact, only a small percentage come to us with a medical background. Our members include lawyers, accountants, business people, stay-at-home parents, local merchants, tradespeople, real estate agents, high school students and people with just about any other background you can think of. LVAC provides all of the training you will need.
When you join LVAC, you will immediately be trained in basic first aid, blood-borne pathogen awareness, CPR and the operation of an AED. We will also thoroughly familiarize you with our ambulances and their equipment. After this initial training, you are eligible and able to answer calls as a "first aider." Every time we respond to a call, we are mandated to have a driver and an EMT (we call our EMT the "Crew Chief"). As a first aider, your primary responsibility is to assist the Crew Chief with patient handling and treatment. Many of our drivers are also credentialed as EMTs.
For members interested in becoming a driver of our ambulances, LVAC provides all of the training necessary to understand the rules for operating emergency vehicles and to get extensive hands-on experience actually driving our ambulances in various settings/terrain/road conditions around town. You will also be trained on the various radio communication responsibilities a driver has in order to keep the dispatch center (known as 60-control) apprised of our status and location.
If you would like to experience more extensive hands-on patient treatment opportunities, you may sign up for any number of regionally-offered New York State EMT Certification Programs. These programs take approximately four months to complete ending with New York State written and practical examinations and a New York State EMT Certification for people successfully passing the exams. LVAC will reimburse the cost of successful completion of these programs. Interestingly, most of the EMT's currently with LVAC obtained their certification after they joined us.
At LVAC, there is a role for everyone to play and every role is important in delivering exceptional patient care.
To be professional and skilled at what we do, we must train continuously to keep up-to-date on the pertinent protocols and techniques for treating patients. LVAC provides training drills on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. These drills contain a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience with the various equipment and procedures we are expected to be proficient with. For our EMTs, LVAC also arranges for periodic in-house continuing medical education courses and provides online delivery options to help our EMT's comply with the NY State recertification requirements.