As part of our 50th celebration, we will be introducing you to some of our members. We are excited to share their stories and how they serve our community. This week we are happy to feature the Friday Night Crew.
The Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Services Friday Night Crew is more than a rescue team; it’s a family. And at the heart of this family are four young women known as the core four who serve regularly on the Friday Night Crew: Lieutenant Jill Gardell, EMT-C, ; Lieutenant Emily Louzon, EMT, Caroline DeCesare, EMT and Katie Mercier, Aide. Jill and Emily, who have been CARS members for 5 years, are both currently attending nursing school. Caroline has been with CARS for 2 years, with plans to head to London in the fall to pursue her Master's Degree. And Katie, who is an Emergency Room nurse at Westerly Hospital, is the newest of the group joining the department in April. Other crew members step in based on their availability, and prior to COVID-19, Friday nights were teeming with Junior members who found that CARS was more than just a place to learn emergency medicine. CARS is also a place where its members gain experiences, life skills, and relationships outside of medicine; and Friday nights at the department are the perfect show of that.
A typical Friday night at the department starts with routine work duties including truck checks to ensure vehicles are outfitted with the necessary supplies and properly working equipment, along with some form of training. Then the crew prepares and serves family style dinner, with all members participating in the meal preparation- a great way to bond. All are welcome to the dinner table including other CARS members as well as members of the local Fire and Police Departments may stop by. If dinner is interrupted by a call, the crew just picks back up where they left off after responding to duty, and the night is usually capped off with a movie. When the crew isn’t working calls or training, they spend their time studying for school or working out.
The camaraderie of the CARS Friday Night Crew goes beyond work, with its members enjoying each other’s company outside of CARS headquarters. When not at Rescue, the members spend time at the beach and travel together. The crew even stuck together when COVID struck, serving as a support system for one another when there was nowhere else to go. Good friends both in and outside of CARS, the Friday Night Crew is made up of trusted colleagues that deliver compassionate and professional care to the town of Charlestown; a tight-knit family that serves its community even while it sleeps.