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NOVA to hold open house May 19

Paramedics Andy Illingsworth, left, and Sherri McAdam practice intubation on a dummy at NOVA EMS in Clay. The ambulance corps will hold an open house this weekend.

Paramedics Andy Illingsworth, left, and Sherri McAdam practice intubation on a dummy at NOVA EMS in Clay. The ambulance corps will hold an open house this weekend. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— For too long, Northern Onondaga Volunteer Ambulance (NOVA) has been something of an enigma for town of Clay residents.

“We haven’t had the funds to market ourselves,” said NOVA Vice President Dale Cuny. “A lot about us isn’t known.”

The ambulance corps’ headquarters on Buckley Road didn’t even have a sign until a couple of weeks ago; when the facility was constructed in 2001, the town’s planning board didn’t permit the construction of a sign. That proved particularly challenging when people in need of medical help sought the building.

“People would put injured or ill people in a car and drive around looking for an ambulance, but they couldn’t find us,” Cuny said. “Our address is only on our mailbox. That was a problem. So we said we needed to get a sign up. We went back to the town, and they approved it this time.”

In order to introduce the public to its staff and educate them about what they do, the facility will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the headquarters, located at 4425 Buckley Road, Liverpool. The event will include tours of the ambulances, free blood pressure screenings, K-9 and child ID and fingerprinting done by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department. Demonstrations and displays will be presented by NOVA, Moyers Corners and Clay Fire Department members. The event is free and open to the public.

The ambulance corps covers all of the town of Clay. It’s bordered on the east by the territory covered by the North Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NAVAC), on the west by the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps (GBAC), on the south by Rural Metro and on the north by Mentor Ambulance, which covers southern Oswego County.

In addition to the six ambulances NOVA keeps at its headquarters on Buckley Road, others are posted at Moyers Corners Stations 1 and 3 to decrease response time at outlying areas of the district. Each ambulance includes at least one paramedic when it goes out on a call.

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