Shelter Island Fire and Emergency Medical Services honor Phil Power


Awards continue to flow for Phil Power, a man who has dedicated 50 years of service to the Shelter Island Fire Department and 45 years to the Island’s Emergency Medical Services.

This year he was named EMT of the Year at an Oct. 6 dinner at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, an honor he has received twice. The first time was 15 years ago.

He also received a retirement plaque for his 50 years of service with the fire department, but he wants everyone to know that while he retires as a paramedic he plans to continue serving in the service. fire. In 1999, he was named Firefighter of the Year. He was also a fire marshal.

In 2019, he was named Shelter Island Reporter Person of the Year for his dedication to his community.

A year ago, he informed city officials of his intention to withdraw from emergency medical services, where he was the last member qualified to provide advanced life-care assistance. To meet the need – so vital on the island given the aging community – the City plans to allocate up to $ 132,000 to pay trained ALC staff whose training is more extensive than paramedics. generally must receive.

Mr Power and his wife, Phyllis, remembered the many times over the years they had entertained friends over for dinner when a call came in demanding that Mr Power leave to take care of a medical emergency. He looks back on his years of service which he says were filled with moments of joy, but also moments of sadness. The happy times were when he was able to give birth and, of course, the sad times were when he answered a call that resulted in death.

Over the past 19 months, as with his EMS colleagues, he has had to react during the COVID pandemic.

“You try not to think about it,” Mr. Power said. But the need to cover up and put on gowns and glasses when calling has been a pervasive factor for paramedics.

He recalled one of the most unusual and bizarre calls EMS had received to answer as he and his wife had just returned from a trip to Massachusetts and were eating at a local restaurant. He and his EMT colleague Gary Gross responded and found an unconscious adult male. The house was filled with garbage and animal droppings.

In the bedroom, a man he assumed to weigh around 280 pounds was lying on a four-poster bed with what he thought was a ceramic animal. As he and his fellow paramedics were working, a monkey jumped out of bed and started biting them. A sheepdog with very matted fur entered the room while paramedics were doing CPR.

As they put the man in an ambulance, they found a goat inside. First responders had to get the animal out of the ambulance before they could lift the stretcher on board to get to the hospital.

Now, at 72, Mr. Power looks forward to the end of such encounters and time to play more golf and fish more. He also provides handyman services in the community for a few regular customers. He will also have more time to visit his children and their families, a girl living in Connecticut and another in North Carolina.

In the year he was named Shelter Island Reporter Person of the Year, former City Councilor Ed Brown said of Mr. Power: “There are donors and takers in this world and Phil Power is and has been for many decades a great donor to this community. . He stops what he is doing to help others.

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