Generations of SAVAC Members Celebrate 50th Reunion
Current and former members of the Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corporation (SAVAC), SUNY Oswego’s volunteer EMS service, gathered on Oct. 9 for the organization’s 50th reunion. Members from all eras of SAVAC ’s history were present to honor the corporation and reminisce about their time being a part of it.
The celebration opened with remarks by Charles Flood ’72 M’81, SAVAC’s first chief. Flood regaled past and present members with stories of the organization’s history, ranging from its beginnings as the United States’ first 100-percent, student-run volunteer ambulance corporation, to how current students are still carrying on its legacy by honoring the notion that its ambulance was dedicated to be “Of, by and for the students of Oswego.”
“I’m not sure that anybody can top [our legacy],” Flood said. “I don’t think that there’s another service inside the United States that can actually claim what we’ve claimed.”
In response to Flood’s legacy speech, current SAVAC members announced they received over 150 signatures from prospective volunteers at this semester’s involvement fair. Flood and the other returning members were elated to hear this, as it is believed to be the most interest the corporation has ever received at such an event.
“You’re building your next legacy,” Flood said to the current volunteers.
Flood served alongside Ed Balaban ’73 on a panel to discuss SAVAC and its impact on its members and the community.
“Almost every one of us has found themselves in a key leadership position and key decision-making position [since being a part of SAVAC],” Balaban said. “It’s made an impact on the community, in the region, the state and ultimately, our nation.”
In addition to Flood and Balaban, members from each decade of the corporation’s existence were encouraged to share their own stories about SAVAC and how it has affected their lives. From members’ subsequent career paths to the connections and friendships they gained, the universal consensus was that their experiences were immensely educational, and that they developed a deep sense of family from participating in the organization.
Following the discussion, attendees reconvened at the SAVAC base to tour its facilities and take a trip down memory lane. Afterward, members joined together for dinner at the Oswego Country Club.
Reflecting on his experiences with the organization and planning its reunion, current SAVAC President Tristan Caruana ’24 said it was an enlightening experience to be among members of different eras, including the founders themselves.
“These are people from all the way in the beginning in  to current members in 2022,” Caruana said. “That’s 50 years worth of knowledge and history.”
Caruana also acknowledged the experience as a humbling one, saying he was honored to be among so many volunteers of SAVAC ’s past.
“Throughout all of the conversations we had, it makes me realize how much SAVAC really means [to its members],” Caruana said. “It’s really amazing.”
~Ethan Stinson ’22
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