MARBLETOWN, N.Y. – April 15, 2020    Responding to an urgent request  from Ulster County Emergency Medical Services, the Marbletown First Aid Unit (MFAU) announced it has begun bolstering its staffing as Ulster County rolls towards the projected COVID-19 apex.

The MFAU board approved additional hiring that would enable the squad to expand its response during the pandemic. MFAU is recruiting and hiring experienced EMTs and experienced EMS drivers. The agency is also seeking experienced volunteers.

MFAU received $7,500 provided by the Town of Marbletown to support the hiring. The funds are part of $20,000 appropriated earlier as the town’s contribution to the not-for-profit squad but had not yet been disbursed. The funds will help finance hiring staff needed to assure 100 percent coverage to meet peak demands of the COVID-19, said MFAU Chief Karen Pardini.

Board Chair Rebecca Horner said MFAU is prepared to dip further into its savings. “We have also applied for and are hoping to receive emergency COVID-19 Federal funding to help pay for staffing,” Horner said.

“More calls for possible COVID patients not only increase the volume of dispatches but also the time required for each response. We have to don PPE safety equipment when we enter a home, then later decontaminate both the ambulance and equipment,” Pardini said.

“With commercial and local services maxed out with COVID transports, we are not only covering our town but lending mutual aid where needed.

“Yes, the stress on front line responders as well as hospital staff is intense, but we are trained. All of this is within our wheelhouse. We are here for our community 100 percent,” Pardini concluded.