By Pat Kiernan NY1 | November 20, 2017
Our latest New Yorkers of the Week, the Park Slope Volunteer Ambulance Corps, is celebrating 25 years of serving Brooklyn neighborhoods, responding to emergencies and helping people on what could be their worst days.
Like for so many New Yorkers, September 11th changed Louis Greco's life. He says he took that day as a personal call to action.
"I saw the resolve of our first responders back during that incident and ever since them. Seeing them help our community at large, that's what garnered my interest," Greco said. That interest turned into a career. He went to school for Emergency Services. But he didn't stop there. After getting a full time job as an EMT, Greco joined the Park Slope Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 2006. Four years ago, he became Chief. Greco is just one of 145 volunteers Park Slope and the surrounding neighborhoods rely on during times of need. From car accidents, to hurricanes, to fires, Greco and his team respond to any emergency, all on their own time. Members hail from all five boroughs, speak 14 different languages, and are all state-certified EMTs.
"We have members who travel from far and wide in all weather conditions, just to come out to fill a tour, and they do it on their own time, in spite of their schedules, in spite of their family obligations," said EMT Judy Louie. Members say what keeps them coming back day after day is knowing they're making a difference. "To bring some type of comfort to them and to also know that people depend on you, there's no better feeling," said EMT Michael Stern. And that's a feeling Greco says it what inspired him in the first place to devote his time to helping others.
"We have the trust of the community when they're at their worst oftentimes. So to be able to go into someone's home or on the street to help them when they're at their worst, that's the most positive direct impact," Greco said. And so, for dedicating their lives to save the lives of others, the members of the Park Slope Volunteer Ambulance Corps are our New Yorkers of the Week.