When Batlow Rescue Squad member and paramedic David Cotsios was recently honoured with a Rotary Emergency Services Community Award, the reason he was pleased says a lot about him.
“The best way to put it is that I was humbled by the fact the members of the squad had confidence in me to represent the VRA (Volunteer Rescue Association, Batlow Rescue Squad’s parent body) and the Rescue Squad,” he said.
David has spent 38 years as a paramedic, including two aboard a rescue helicopter, and the Batlow Rescue Squad was a natural fit for him when he moved here from Sydney in 1993.
“I joined because it was a natural extension of what I do as a job full time as a paramedic, and I am able to use some of the skill sets that I have,” he said. “The rescue squad’s tasks appealed to me, including road crash rescue and vertical rescue (he has no fear of heights).”
There is, of course, more poignant reasons for his dedication to the rescue squad.
“It is great being involved with a selfless group of people who put the needs of the community before theirs,” he said. “They are volunteers who are available 24 hours around the clock, and that is a pretty big deal. It has been interesting to see how the rescue squad has evolved, especially in the past 15 years, with new vehicles and a new shed. We have been to accidents, including were people have been trapped, which were challenging and tested the ability of the squad, but I have been glad with how it has responded.”
The squad has 15 members who train every Wednesday night.
“That is great for a small town,” David said. Rescue squad captain Terry Bates had no hesitation recommending David for the award.
“The hardest thing was keeping it from him,” he said. “He is a good asset to the squad. A lot of new guys have picked up a lot of new skills from Dave. His first aid skills are valuable, and he is good to stir up.”