UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — The Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps, (COCVAC) goes above and beyond your typical emergency medical service by providing COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
“Which was a new concept because typically EMTs and paramedics we don’t do vaccinations we do emergency medicine,” Thomas Meyers, Assistant Chief at COCVAC
Back in March under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order, emergency medical technicians and advanced emergency medical technicians were allowed to apply for the Community Paramedicine Vaccination Program. The application process was long and both EMTs and paramedics were given extensive training.
“As an EMT basic in the State of New York, it’s an advanced first aid they don’t usually typically administer medication, either intramuscular IV or anything like that so the training was a little more in depth for them,” Meyers explained.
One of the benefits of the ambulance corps being able to provide vaccines is their ability to go wherever there is a need like rural communities where individuals don’t have access to a car or cell phone service and they aren’t able to go to their local drug stores or vaccination pods.
“Our goal with being already in the rural community is to get out there ourselves and put boots on the ground and let these people see that we are there for them and to help them,” Jenna Rosky Lieutenant, QA/QI Officer at COCVAC said. “We’re there to help them get vaccinated as soon as possible so we can get New York State open a little sooner.”
The ambulance corps will be at the Utica firework display on July 5 administering vaccines to residents, and you can expect to see them going door to door soon in communities with a high rate of unvaccinated individuals.