HARDWICK – Rain clouds receded over Atkins Field on Wednesday evening as the Hardwick Rescue Squad membership gathered to celebrate the work that the volunteers and employees of the organization have contributed to the community over the past year.
The membership appreciation picnic is typically held during a regularly scheduled meeting time in July. However, the field was drying out and members were at work assisting the community in recovering after severe flooding hit during that time.
The squad had a special milestone to celebrate this year, as one of its longest serving members, Patty Meyer, celebrated her 50th year of service with the organization. Meyer started on the rescue squad in 1973, and quickly became a crew chief and later the squad’s scheduler. Having already achieved the Vermont EMS lifetime award, Meyer received a special shout-out at the picnic, commemorating not only her years of service, but her strong commitment to community in the work she performs every week. Many members spoke of Meyer’s ability to bring a sense of peace to high intensity scenes where patients are often anxious about their medical conditions. Gratitude was expressed for how patient, kind, and knowledgeable she is.
The rest of the membership expressed the value of seeing a familiar face such as Meyer’s in the event of emergency. For her sons, this did not come without sacrifice, which included at times leaving them at the side of the road to be picked up by a neighbor or another family member when she was needed at the station for an emergency call.
Meyer was presented with a plaque, a commemorative pen, a 50 year pin, and a portrait for her dedication. Other members were recognized for their service. Karl Stein, who is leaving the organization after 15 years of service was presented with a commemorative pen. Matt Pietryka was honored as this year’s top provider, running a total of 159 calls. Tim Nisbet received the top first responder of the year award, logging 20 incidents in Greensboro. Rob Alcusky was celebrated with the top driver award, having logged 134 calls in the period from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023. Emcee and board member Tyler Molleur led the ceremony and acknowledged how appreciative he was of everyone’s contributions to keeping the rescue squad operational. He said it takes all sorts of talent and skills to carry out day-to-day operations of such an organization.