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The Mineola VAC Story
From its modest beginning as an idea conceived by Joseph and Louise DiGiorgio and William Morgan, the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps has become an institution whose foundation rests upon responding to the emergency medical needs of the residents of and visitors to Mineola. The survival of any organization is based on the caliber of its leadership, and MVAC was and is so continuously blessed. Those who laid the cornerstone are such dignitaries as Stanley and Peggy Rupnick, Bruce Nedelka, Cathy Hirt-Rodriguez, Walter and Diane Strauss, Joan Benatti, Cathy Lauterbach, Patrick Tobin and Joseph and Louise DiGiorgio.
These individuals carried the heavy burden of responsibility in the creation of MVAC and the organization is a living testament to their dedication.
We thank the residents, merchants, and charitable organizations of Mineola for their tax-deductible donations to MVAC. These donations go directly to the purchase of equipment and supplies that will save the lives of both our volunteers and their patients.
- On Saturday, April 28, 1979, at 12 noon, the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps began its service to the people of Mineola. A celebration was held at the American Legion Hall. Those invited were high-ranking government officials and residents of Mineola. Preceding the party was a motorcade through the Village with our two ambulances. By July of 1979, MVAC became a part of the 911 system. MVAC is dispatched by the Nassau County Fire Communications Bureau, which can be reached by dialing (516) 742-3300.
- In December 1979, MVAC President Bruce Nedelka, was proud to report that 341 calls for help were responded to in just the first eight months of operation.
- By March 1980, MVAC was able to purchase cardiac telemetry equipment to help our volunteers better serve the needs of the community, thanks to efforts of the Mineola American, The County Seat Kiwanis Club of Mineola, and the Mineola Mustang Run.
- In May 1983, after MVAC spent its first 5 years operating out of a basement room in the Willis Avenue School, Company 3 of the Mineola Fire Department had outgrown their existing facility, and the Village of Mineola provided 170 Elm Place to the Corps.
- In April 1994, the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps received a Unit Citation for their service in response to the Long Island Railroad shooting on December 7, 1993. MVAC responded to the incident with 3 advanced life support ambulances, and treated and transported dozens of patients to nearby hospitals.
- In October 1998, MVAC was named Nassau Regional EMS Council’s EMS Agency of the Year. MVAC received this award again in 2004, and in 2005 and 2008 received an honorable mention in this category.
- In September 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center, MVAC immediately sent one rapid-response vehicle and one advanced life support ambulance to Ground Zero, after calls for assistance came from our NYC neighbors. Members remained in Manhattan for nearly 30 hours, while other members were stationed on various ferry boats. All the while, in-house crews responded to calls for help in our Village.
- In August 2003, during the Northeast Blackout, MVAC had multiple stand-by crews in-house around the clock, responding to critical patients who were not able to survive without power.
- In November 2012, Superstorm Sandy brought crippling rain and wind to much of the Northeast, taking out power lines and causing shortages in fuel and supplies to residents of Long Island. MVAC members were stationed round the clock at headquarters for almost two weeks, responding to a wide variety of emergency calls throughout the day and night.