Much like a baptism for a baby, the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps held a “wet down” Saturday in a tradition fire departments and ambulance corps use to wish a new vehicle good luck. During a wet down, neighboring fire departments bring fire engines to douse a new piece of equipment.
Saturday’s event was also to dedicate the ambulance to the late Ed Rummel, former commissioner of the Mineola corps. Rummel died in 2016 at age 45. He was an ex-NYPD officer and part of the Albertson Fire Department. Tom Devaney, the current commissioner of the Mineola ambulance corps, said his experience in those two departments modernized the operation.
A eulogy written by Devaney said that Rummel’s commitment to the corps was “unprecedented.”
“He fought for better equipment to protect our members, such as turnout gear and vests, radiation pagers and gas meters. Ed’s commitment to better our organization has saved our members at one time or another, whether we realize it or not,” Devaney wrote.
The new ambulance was purchased through a state loan program and will replace one that was 20 years old. It will join two other ambulances operated by the corps.
The ambulance corps also accepted donations from Hanover Bank and VFW Post 1305. The bank donation was used to purchase three Arrow EZ-IO intravenous drills. Devaney said these drills are used as a replacement for IV needles if, for some reason, an EMT was not able to insert one.
Devaney explained how the drills are used to grind into the bone and deliver medicine directly to one’s marrow. The corps has been using older types of drills that are much more painful. Devaney said these drills will “bring us into the 21st century.”
He did not disclose what the VFW donation would be used for.
The Mineola ambulance corps was founded in 1979. Devaney said back then it consisted of a group of neighbors who wanted the village to have its own emergency response service. Groups of them would get together and practice parking an ambulance in a driveway. He explained how much looser safety regulations were back then and said Rummel’s work helped bring the corps to the exemplary level it has reached today.