January 18, 2013

Ambulance corps to the rescue

Several readers pointed out an error in last week’s paper; an emergency medical technician with the Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps was mistakenly referred to as a paramedic.

At first glance a minor point, we quickly realized it is one that rightly matters to a great many people. As one reader explained, a paramedic in New York State undergoes at least two years of upper-level training beyond the level of EMT-Basic. In Bedford we are served by professional paramedics from Westchester Emergency Medical Service. They arrive in the white Suburban “fly cars” and offer advanced life support. They work with the volunteers at KBHVAC and meet our ambulances to accompany patients to the hospital when it is warranted. KBHVAC operates three ambulances, each crewed by one EMT-B (basic) who has undergone six months of part-time state training and can offer basic life-support care in New York State. The EMT is the crew chief and is in charge of the ambulance. He or she is accompanied by a driver who has basic first aid, equipment, and driver training, and up to two crew members who have first aid and some equipment training.

According to ambulance corps personnel, Bedford offers a three-tier 911 system. Bedford police department usually arrives first, and many officers are qualified EMT-Bs. KBHVAC arrives next, and then (or at the same time) the WEMS paramedic arrives. If the medical complaint is not too serious, the patient is placed in the care of the KBHVAC EMT-B. If it’s more serious, the paramedic rides in with KBHVAC, bringing his or her advanced life support medications, and is assisted by the KBHVAC EMT-B.

Last year the ambulance corps went on more than 900 calls. Their 100 members are all volunteers — including about 20 EMT-Bs, who have to recertify every three years and undergo continual medical education, putting in an enormous amount of time serving their community.

This week, a rollover on Cherry Street in Katonah sent a driver to the hospital, after the car hit a utility pole. Another accident on Jay Street the same day brought ambulance personnel to the rescue.

Over the past several months we have received numerous letters from Pound Ridgers praising the volunteer ambulance corps. Their dedication and responsiveness, especially during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, drew the gratitude of residents of all ages, particularly the elderly, who needed their services. The appreciation in Bedford Village for the fire department’s volunteer ambulance corps is equally enthusiastic.

In these winter days of snow, sleet and icy roads, when storms put lives at risk and accidents happen in the home and workplace, it is good to know they’re here for us. We thank them and urge support for their efforts, no matter their rank or title.

Invasive strategies

Sadly, for gardeners seeking the easy way out, some of northern Westchester’s plants and shrubs that are the easiest to cultivate are those with the most adverse effect on the environment. These offenders include bittersweet vines, Japanese barberry and multiflora rose.

Naturalists say that invasive plants and insects threaten our native wildlife and can cause economic or environmental harm to human health that outweighs any benefits they offer.

Unlike native plants, which take time to establish and then decline because of natural succession, invasive plants maintain their foothold in an ecosystem, outcompete native species, and monopolize large areas. Undesirable plants inhibit natural forest reproduction and decrease habitat for a variety of wildlife. Trees weakened by invasive vines are at risk of falling onto property or roadways.

The Invasives Project, Pound Ridge is a new public/private task force created by members of the Pound Ridge Conservation Board and the Henry Morgenthau preserve. Upon request by a homeowner, the group will go to that person’s property to identify plants suspected of being invasives and discuss environmentally sound ways to limit their growth. They also intend to form a study group to work with the town’s highway department to control the spread of the targeted species.

It may be unrealistic for homeowners to install or replace expensive plantings, especially when many landscapers remain uneducated or uninformed. But a healthy awareness of the impacts of invasives on our ecosystem is a big step forward in maintaining and regenerating our forests and land.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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