Our Association

Representing New York's Community, Volunteer & Non-Profit EMS Sector

The New York State Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Association is the leading nonprofit (501c3) membership association representing the interest of community volunteer EMS. NYSVARA serves as the voice of community volunteer EMS in New York State. Our mission is to represent, advocate and provide a voice for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medical responders in the community and volunteer nonprofit sector. The association fosters EMS legislative awareness, education, networking and the exchange of ideas to enrich and enhance EMS and the public awareness of the valuable work and unselfish contribution that community and volunteer nonprofit EMS provides to the people of New York. Our members include: independent volunteer ambulance companies, fire district and fire related ambulance services, college based services, first response medical squads, rescue squads and teams, tax based ambulance and rescue companies, combination services (volunteer/career) and organizations wishing to support community/volunteer EMS/Medical first response service as well as individual CFRs, EMTs, AEMTs, Paramedics, rescue workers, instructors, specialists, nurses and firefighters affiliated with these services.


Organizational and Sponsoring members are eligible for membership in the Savvik Buying Group, a nation-wide buying cooperative, best cost pricing discount program – a $75 value included free with your NYSVARA organizational membership (NYSVARA is a state affiliate member of the group). Savvik assists members in providing cost-effective, quality service by negotiating discounted contracts for equipment and supplies: Ambulances, Billing & Collection Services, Cardiac Monitors/Defibrillators, EMS Legal Services & Seminars, Fleet Fuel Cards, Medical Supplies & Equipment, Office Equipment/Furniture & Supplies, Promotional Clothing & Items, and more.


NYS VARA is a state affiliate and best value joint membership is available.


The Association is an information resource for its members on legislation and regulations as well as other volunteer and nonprofit issues. The Association also has sample Standard Operating Procedures as well as volunteer and non profit information of file. In cases where the material may not be readily available, the Association can often provide a helpful referral.


The Association conducts regular outreach to state legislators and administrators. We monitor legislation and comment on legislation and regulations affecting volunteer and nonprofit emergency services. We work to keep members informed on important issues. Association representatives meet regularly with state legislators and administrators and are active in providing input and recommendations on issues of interest to community volunteer emergency services. An association delegate is a member of the New York State Emergency Medical Services Council. Liaison is also maintained with other statewide organizations as well as emergency service organizations in adjoining states.

EMS Memorial - Albany, NY


With regional agencies now more involved than ever in EMS, it is more important than ever for volunteer squads to organize locally or to support local units (i.e., Districts) of the Association. The local Districts provide an important forum for local community volunteer ambulance and rescue squads. Where a local district is not established any five- (5) member squads can establish one. An existing local volunteer organization including five or more squads can also be incorporated into the Association. Each District elects a Director who serves on the State Association's Board of Directors.


The Association provides a structure for youth involvement in community based and volunteer EMS. Direct contact can be provided with member squads that have years of practical experience managing successful EMS Youth Squads and Explorer Posts. In addition, local and statewide First Responder and EMT EMS drill challenges are held.


Each year, we sponsor “PULSE CHECK”, an educational and trade conference covering the latest in medical and rescue techniques, equipment, and management skills. There is statewide first responder and EMT drill challenges with recognition trophies awarded. The conference also provides an opportunity to network with other EMS and rescue providers and have some fun at the same time.


Members receive a subscription to the Association’s newsletter. The newsletter features information on State EMS Council Activities, legislation, and Association, district and member squad activities. Also included are articles on nonprofit management, news, and trends in EMS, first response and rescue.


Each year at the Annual Meeting and Conference, the Association gives recognition for meritorious acts, leadership and service. Award titles include: Meritorious Award, Educator of the Year Award, President’s Award, Leadership Award, Civilian Award, Youth Squad Award, EMS Person of the Year Award, EMS/Rescue Achievement, Medical Director of the Year Award. Member organizations and individual association members are eligible.


Annually, within available funds, up to three scholarships are awarded to qualifying individuals for furthering higher education degree programs (not for EMT, CFR, etc. state funded courses).


The Association can be found on WEB at: www.nysvara.org. Member organizations are encouraged to establish a link to their squad.


The Member Benefits Committee is regularly working on insurance (home & auto) merchandise and service discounts, which are made available to members (squad and individual). For current information visit the Member Benefits section of our web-site.

Most importantly by working together we collectively increase networking opportunities and the voice of the community, volunteer and non-profit EMS/Medical First Responder sector. By becoming a member you help strengthen and increase the visibility of community, volunteer and non-profit EMS. The NYSVARA is the only statewide organization primarily focused on community/volunteer non-profit EMS, and medical first responder issues; where EMS providers/medical first responders enjoy a full voice in participation and governance of the organization.