MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Every year Hunter’s Ambulance gives out scholarships to students so they can pursue careers in the emergency medical field. The scholarships honor of Carol Gillooly and William Lawton who both died in the line of duty.
The Executive Vice President with Hunter’s Ambulance David Lowell said, “They were EMTs that worked for our service who were hit by a drunk driver September 2, 1989.”
Every year since that tragic accident, Hunter’s Ambulance has held a major fundraiser, the charity Golf Classic in their memory. Lowell added, “The golf tournament was set up in their honor to create a legacy to fund educational programs in the medical field and it has funded EMT training, paramedic training, nursing training for those 28 years.” Matthew Wilson is former Marine and EMT. He was among the 12 people selected this year to receive a scholarship.
Matthew Wilson said, “I was ecstatic to find out that I was accepted.” Lowell said with the opioid crisis there is a great need for paramedics. Lowell added, “EMTS and paramedics are the front line of our medical Community out there and certainly as we talk about the opioid crisis we have three people dying a day in the state of Connecticut alone from opioid induced cardiac arrest. It’s a growing concern, it is in every corner of our community and we can’t have enough EMTS and paramedics out there.”
First responders are trained to administer Narcan, a life saving drug used to reverse overdoses. David Bagioni added, “I’ve been a paramedic for 15 years and back when I started we used to carry one or two doses now I’m carrying six and I’m routinely using it.” Wilson said, “I think the more paramedics you can get on the road the better off everyone is whether it is just for your opioid crisis or cardiac arrest is always going to be there you are always going to have your medical problems all across the board. So the more EMTS and paramedics we get out on the field the better off all our communities will end up being” Hunter’s Ambulance has given out nearly 400 scholarships since 1989.