A transplant patient is alive thanks to Cooperstown EMS and the volunteers who went out of the way, literally, to transport after several other agencies denied the trip.

EMT Greg Scharf was triaging at Westchester Medical Center when he saw the Coopertown ambulance pull in. "I thought it was unusual since the agency is stationed a few hours away."

Inside the ambulance was a transplant patient that several other agencies couldn't help. "The hospital staff that accompanied EMS on the trip advised approximately 51 agencies denied the trip," Scharf said. "I was shocked 51 agencies said no."

Several different agencies were asked, but rigs were either committed to their own 911 district or already transporting other patients. "It’s a systemic issue we face here in Upstate New York," said Nick Marquez. "Very few providers and a beyond stretched thin system that is past its breaking point."

Thankfully Cooperstown did have an ambulance and volunteers available for transport. "When I saw Cooperstown accepted the trip, I was overwhelmed with emotion," said Scharf. "A volunteer agency taking the time, in the middle of the night, hours from home; to give a human a better chance in life, shows the true reason people signed up for EMS, to help others and make a difference in someone's life."

It made a difference in Kristen Battisti's life. It saved her father.

"I would personally like to thank everyone who went above and beyond to get my father to Westchester safe. The team that was on that night was amazing. They wouldn't give up until he was being transported. So thank you to the staff of Cooperstown hospital and to the VFD/EMS. My family appreciates this more than you could imagine."

Carrie Carney is a former member of the Cooperstown EMS and a past patient of theirs. She knows firsthand the lengths volunteers in Cooperstown go to. "I can say without a doubt they are the finest group of volunteers you ever want to know."

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