Five Quad Students Answer the Call for Help in Rockland County

Five Quad ambulance at station in Nanuet.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 21, 2020) – T.J. Broderick has proudly assisted members of the UAlbany community as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for the University’s student-run Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service since his freshmen year.

But, when the campus transitioned to remote learning last month until further notice due to COVID-19, the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) junior found himself in a very different position – at his home, in Albany, wondering what he could do to help.

That’s when the phone rang. It was Matthew Zoda, a CEHC senior, Five Quad EMT and volunteer for his hometown Nanuet Ambulance Corps. in Rockland County. He had an idea.

“During spring break, I started volunteering as I usually do with Nanuet,” Zoda said. “We are seeing a much higher number of calls than normal. So, I asked our assistant chief what he thought about bringing other members of Five Quad down. I knew they were eager to help.

“A week and a half later we have them on the road with us.”

Nanuet’s Student Volunteers

Five Quad’s leaders quickly assembled six different crews of students, about a dozen in total. They will serve as volunteers for Nanuet over at least the next month. The students are rotating 12-hour shifts, from Monday to Friday or Friday to Monday. They have their own ambulance on-site that was driven down from UAlbany. 

Five Quad students stand in front of their ambulance at Nanuet.
From left: Nanuet Ambulance Corps. assistant chief Jonathan Delgado, student T.J. Broderick, student Analyse Scully, Nanuet Ambulance Corps. chief Christopher Dunlavey.

All Five Quad students are EMT-certified, meaning they can respond to emergency calls on their own, offering some relief to Nanuet’s overworked staff and volunteers. Student shifts start around 1 p.m. to ensure they are given some time to complete their online coursework and prepare for final exams.

Nanuet has accommodated private rooms at their ambulance station, meals, reimbursement for travel costs and personal protective equipment (PPE). CEHC also donated a box of its 3D-printed medical face shields.

“When we first heard about this, I knew it was going to be a great opportunity to help people and gain unique 9-1-1 training experience outside of campus,” Broderick said. “You never expect to need to prepare for a pandemic. There’s a lot of sick people right now. We are happy to be making a real impact.”

“We put in hundreds of volunteer hours during the semester already. The long hours are nothing new for us,” added Analyse Scully, a sophomore dual biology and Chinese studies major and Five Quad member who traveled with Broderick to Nanuet. “We are grateful to have professors who are accommodating to fit our schedule.”

Coronavirus Hot Spot

Rockland County has been one of New York’s hardest-hit COVID-19 regions, with 8,987 confirmed cases and 234 deaths reported by the New York Health Department as of Friday.

Nanuet Emergency Medical Services is the primary 9-1-1 responder for a number of Rockland County hamlets including Nanuet, Bardonia, parts of New City and Spring Valley. Their ambulance corps averages about 3,000 calls per year. However, the weekly volume has doubled and sometimes tripled during the coronavirus outbreak, according to its assistant chief Jonathan Delgado.

He expressed gratitude for Five Quad’s service and support during this unprecedented time.

“My crews are exhausted. Having fresh EMTs willing to help has meant the world to us,” said Delgado, who is also an assistant director of residence life at Dominican College. “These young adults are taking time out of their own personal life to come down and do this for free. It is honestly amazing.”

Additional Five Quad student volunteers include: Brian Trifon, Jennifer Norris, Eleni Stamenou, Paul Gribbin, Zachary Morganstein, Sebastian Jaliff, Hannah Young, Andrew Connor and Tyler Jetjomlong.