Administration and Leadership, Major Incidents, News, Patient Care

Soup Ladies, Volunteer Ambulance Funds Mismanagement & Kilted to Kick Cancer

Issue 1 and Volume 39.

Emergency Meal Technicians
When first responders are required to be at an incident for hours, maybe even overnight, what could be better for their morale than a hot, home-cooked meal served on scene?

That’s the mindset behind The Soup Ladies, a nonprofit started eight years ago by Ginger “Mama” Passarelli of Black Diamond, Wash. After volunteering with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Mississippi in 2005, the Washington resident realized how something as simple as a good meal could uplift first responders. Upon returning home, she reached out to King County Fire District 44 and began providing hot meals to firefighters on extended call.

Meals for first responders

Today, Mama Passarelli and her crew of 40 serve hearty stews, hot coffee and sometimes even meatloaf to first responders at around 60 emergencies a year. While most of the incidents they support occur in the rural areas of King County and Pierce County, one of last year’s emergencies included Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

“Our first mission is to feed the first responders,” said Passarelli. “We really love these people. We care about these people.”

We applaud The Soup Ladies for tirelessly feeding first responders on extended call in their state and, when able, around the nation.

Crippled Corps
Three volunteer EMTs were arrested in September for allegedly stealing more than $325,000 from the Corona Community Ambulance Corps (CCAC), a New York nonprofit on whose board they also served.

CCAC Treasurer Daniel Dominguez, 37, allegedly transferred more than $300,000 from the nonprofit’s accounts into his personal accounts for use on luxury car service trips, extravagant meals and trips to Walt Disney World and Niagara Falls. He’s also accused with helping CCAC board member Daryl Adeva, 31, transfer $8,960 to Adeva’s accounts.

The third board member arrested was CCAC President David Moretti, 41, for allegedly stealing more than $11,000 from CCAC via wire transfers, cash withdrawals and unauthorized credit card purchases, some of which were used on personal
car payments.

“The financial strain we are now under requires us to seriously consider dissolution or sell our building and streamline our services,” said the CCAC in a statement issued on Sept. 21. In addition to funds to pay bills, the organization, which has served Corona since 1960, needs a new building to work from and volunteers with non-medical skills.

We give a big thumbs down to Dominguez, Adeva and Moretti for breaking the public’s trust and crippling a nonprofit that has seen Corona and New York through countless crises, including Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

Monetary donations to CCAC can be made at www.ccvac.org. To volunteer non-medical skills, email Jose Pelaez at [email protected] For leads on a building CCAC can use, email Jonathan B. Lefkowitz, CCAC’s attorney, at [email protected]

Up Yer Kilt!
In 2011, Justin Schorr of the EMS blog TheHappyMedic.com and two fellow first responder bloggers launched Kilted to Kick Cancer (KTKC), a nonprofit that raises awareness about prostate cancer.

KTKC rallies men to wear kilts during the month of September in honor of National Prostate Health Month so that, when approached about the skirt-like garment, the kilted can discuss risk factors associated to the second most-diagnosed cancer in American men.

One of the first men to answer the call in 2011 was “A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver” (www.ambulancedriverfiles.com) blogger Kelly Grayson. Upon joining KTKC, he insisted on taking the campaign further: to not only encourage men 40 years old and older to get checked, but to also fundraise for research. Since then, KTKC supporters have raised over $50,000 for prostate cancer and testicular cancer research during the annual Kilted to Kick Cancer Challenge, a fundraising contest that runs from Sept. 1–30.

“This cancer is killing almost as many men as breast cancer kills women and we’ve only scratched the surface on even researching it,” wrote Schorr in a 2011 blog post. “Kilt up, and if you don’t have a kilt, support a blogger who does!”

Thumbs up to the bloggers who started Kilted to Kick Cancer, to Grayson for spearheading its annual fundraising challenge, and to all EMS and Fire bloggers who have rallied with them to help eradicate prostate cancer and testicular cancer.