At an age when many young men would be getting a fulltime job, studying to get that job or travelling, Adam Hart had other ideas.

As a 19-year-old, Adam, now aged 31, took it upon himself to sign up for the Central Coast Volunteer Rescue

Association (VRA).

He did so because he selflessly wanted to make a positive difference in his community – even if he wasn’t getting paid for it.

“I had no previous rescue experience when I joined and have just learnt everything from the ground up,” Adam said.

“There are about four or five paramedics in the Central Coast VRA, along with university students, retirees, mechanics and tradies… we have a diverse range of members.

“We’re all giving up our time for free and asking for nothing in return because we want to help the community.”

Adam’s volunteering with the VRA has also served to support his current role as a trainee paramedic at Hamlyn

Terrace Station.

“Prior to getting on road as a trainee paramedic (Adam has also been a call taker, dispatcher and a duty control centre officer) the VRA gave me an insight into what to expect on the road,” he said.

“It gave me a better understanding of people interaction, communicating with other services, and how to conduct yourself at the scene of an incident.”

Adam, who is currently the deputy captain of the VRA, has had the opportunity to assist in several different types of rescues. Some of these include road crash incidents, vertical rescues, industrial rescues and swiftwater rescues.

And while he is still volunteering and in the early stages of his NSW Ambulance career, there are others who continue to give back to the community after they have retired.

One of those is Alan Findlay.

Formerly an Intensive Care Paramedic and paramedic educator, Alan retired from the service in 2014 before becoming a volunteer chaplain with NSW Ambulance in 2016.

“I decided to become a volunteer because of my faith,” Alan said.

“I believe we are here to do things for other people, not just our own personal gratification.

“For me, there is a feeling of satisfaction to help other people. That’s also why I became a paramedic.”

As a chaplain, Alan takes great pride in supporting

NSW Ambulance staff who may have been negatively impacted, one way or another, while on the job.

“We’re here to support the paramedics, call-takers and dispatchers, many of whom were doing it particularly tough during the recent floods.

“Some of them also need support after they have attended something particularly traumatic, such as the death of a child.”

Others, like Paul Scrace, give up their spare time to support NSW Ambulance’s

Community First Responders (CFR).

Paul, who has been a Fire and Rescue NSW firefighter for more than 20 years, was also the Branxton CFR captain for 10 years before he retired last month.

NSW Ambulance CFR facilitators Alysha Luppino and Dean Wales held a celebration for Paul last month to thank him for his service to the community.

“I think Paul has been a huge asset to Branxton CFR,” Alysha said.

“He has been a particularly huge asset to not only the staff that work in the CFR, but also in the wider community – he has always been very approachable and professional in his role,” Alysha said.

Added Paul: “This has been an important initiative for me to be a part of, to help the smaller communities that don’t always have access to some medical facilities like other communities.”