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Members of the former Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corp took to social media platforms to say their goodbyes to each other and to the community over the last few days. The outgoing members loyally fulfilled their final shifts this week after being kicked out by the Town and Village Boards earlier this month.
New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corp has begun covering Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson, effective early this morning.
Following their closure, COVAC members will gather for one last time – to bury one of their own. Past COVAC Chief Jack Boyle recently passed away at the age of 69. The membership will show up wearing their uniforms to pay their respects.
COVAC volunteer Justin Lee posted his goodbyes on COVAC’s Facebook page. He explained how he earned his first-ever lifesaving award for successfully performing CPR and reviving a patient. “This place is amazing and has served its community proudly over all the years,” he wrote. “COVAC will always have a special place in my heart.”
His wife and COVAC partner, Samantha Lee, also took to COVAC’s Facebook page to say goodbye. “Today after an 18 hour shift with three of my favorite partners, I left COVAC for the last time,” she wrote. “I packed my bag, closed out my last chart, and said goodbye to a place that changed my life.” She described COVAC as “a place of security, friendship and fun, all while serving an amazing community.”
COVAC volunteer Greg J. Scharf also wrote goodbye. “Today is my last shift as a volunteer at Cornwall EMS,” he stated. He joined COVAC at the young age of 16 and served over a decade. “Cornwall EMS was a huge part of my teenage years,” he explained. “Being able to make a difference in my community was amazing to do.” He concluded, “To all the members, be safe and it was a pleasure riding with everyone.”
NWVAC joined in with thanking COVAC for their service. “We are committed to making this partnership successful,” NWVAC posted. “Yet, we would be remissed if we did not take a moment to honor all the past members of COVAC for their service to the community.”
COVAC Chief Joe Reardon, who helped fight to keep COVAC open, wrote his final farewells yesterday. “In less than a day, Cornwall Ambulance, a place I call a second home, will be closing for good.” He referred to the members under his leadership as his “extended family.” He gave one last piece of advice as COVAC’s outgoing leader by encouraging the departing members to keep their heads up.
“Life is too short to hold grudges,” Chief Reardon concluded.