Student at Aim Academy in Whitemarsh Pa., David Marein-Efron, finds structure in his daily life by volunteering at Narberth Ambulance, which provides pre-hospital medical services and transportation in Lower Merion, Narberth, Haverford, Conshohocken, and West Conshohocken.
Growing up catacorner to Narberth Ambulance’s main station in Ardmore, Marein-Efron saw the siren lights reflect off his window often.
“I’d watch the ambulances dispatch, see Narberth staff members in our township parade and at community events. When I turned 16, I knew I wanted to volunteer,” said Marein-Efron.
Volunteers at Narberth Ambulance must be 16 years or older and participate in a ride-along shift before they can join. Although no two days are the same, a ride-along shift highlights what volunteers can expect during their shifts. The experience is very hands-off and is designed to see if it’s the right fit for the potential volunteer.
“We had one big call and two minor calls on my ride-along shift,” Marein-Efron recalled, “It really struck me, going 30-40 miles in the truck and seeing the art of EMTS and paramedics, working together, giving it their all to help save the patient, save a life.”
Marein-Efron, as well as other volunteers, are responsible for sweeping the station and washing the trucks but also have the opportunity to answer calls and participate in diverse training with fellow career members. One night a month, Narberth Ambulance provides dinner for staff members and hosts a training night so they can learn new skills and keep their existing skills sharp.
“Come ready to listen and learn. There are people here with upwards of 15 years of experience and everyone is willing to teach you,” said Marein-Efron.
The training that Narberth Ambulance offers is a great resume booster for volunteers, especially for high school students looking to undergo a career in emergency services or go to medical school. Not only does volunteering prepare teenagers for their future careers or education, but it gives them years of eye-opening, patient care experience.
Marein-Efron joined Narberth Ambulance with no previous medical experience and enrolled in EMT school. He frequently studied at the main station, where other volunteers and staff members helped him practice for tests and gave him advice essential for success.
“It’s different from a city,” said Marien-Efron, “we’re running upwards of 10,000 calls a year.” Marein-Efron is currently nationally registered and plans to take the test to become a command member when he turns 18, so he can ride alone on calls and treat patients.
Narberth Ambulance only requires volunteers to give 24 hours of their time a month, but Marien-Efron is at the station as often as possible. He finds a healthy balance between school, volunteering, and having a social life; going out with friends, going to high school basketball games, and other activities.
“It wasn’t about creating the time because I have the time, it was just about using my time more wisely. I find myself with less time to sit at home and look at social media,” said Marein-Efron.
Narberth Ambulance volunteers come from all different walks of life. They are physicians, attorneys, police officers, teachers, mechanics, and like Marein-Efron, high school students. To learn more about Narberth Ambulance or volunteering visit www.NarberthAmbulance.org.