All are invited to an open house at the Monroe EMS headquarters

The Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service's headquarters viewed from Jockey Hollow Road.

MONROE, CT — The $4.6 million renovation and addition project for the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service at 54 Jockey Hollow Road is complete and now its members are inviting the public to tour the facility during an open house on Saturday, Sept. 23.

“We’ve been using taxpayer money to build this great building. It’s been a long time in the making,” said Bella Medaris, an emergency medical technician (EMT) and community relations chair for the MVEMS. “We just want to show people how grateful we are that the town was able to do this and for people to see that their money was well spent.”

All are welcome to come to the event, anytime from 12 to 6 p.m. There will be a formal greeting at noon, before a day of tours and activities gets underway.

There will be a touch-a-truck for children, who will have an opportunity to climb aboard an ambulance, members will offer question and answer sessions on topics such as becoming an EMT, there will be trivia, a DIY activity of putting together your own first aid kit, and demonstrations for hands-only CPR.

“We’re a resource for the public,” Medaris said. “We offer public training for Stop the Bleed, CPR and Narcan. We want to educate people.”

She said the MVEMS encourages people to become as involved as they want, whether it’s taking one of these training courses or taking EMT classes to become volunteers themselves.

“All of our members are members of the community and friends of people who live in town,” Medaris said. “Sometimes we go on calls and see people we know. It is rewarding to help them, in a sense because we’re doing so much good for our community. Our motto is ‘neighbors helping neighbors.'”

Medaris is a new member herself.

“I started training last year in the summer and became a full member in August,” she said. “By the end of the year, I took over the community relations position. My goal is education and making people feel more prepared, so they know what to do in an emergency situation.”

The Monroe EMS building project was a vision of the late EMS Chief Don Smith, who worked on it for the past two decades and lived to see it to completion.

“It does mean a lot for people to see the building and experience what it’s like,” Medaris said, adding of the open house, “we’re hoping the to do this on an annual basis, so the whole community can be part of it — not just us.”

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