Deborah O'Brien | Legislator Bridget Fleming’s Honoree
Deborah followed in the path of her grandfather, John Schoen, who was a founding member of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SHVAC). She joined the SHVAC in 1982 and became an Emergency Medical Technician –Beginner (EMTB) in 1983. Debbie has been a CPR/First Aid Instructor since 1985; is an Emergency Medical Technician Critical Care (EMT CC); was a Certified Public Accountant; and after raising her three children went back to college and became a Registered Nurse (RN) in 2006. Debbie is certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Trauma, and Controlled Substances.
As a RN in our local hospital Emergency Room (ER), these past few years have proven to be a monumental and exhausting endeavor. Deborah not only held strong as an ER nurse, but championed her efforts to keep all of the members of the SHVAC safe and COVID free. Debbie met this challenge with dedication, kindness, and an absolute drive to keep all of the members of the Corps safe and healthy. Not a single member of the Corps contracted COVID-19 through exposure during an ambulance call. Debbie continues to be invaluable to both the hospital, local ambulance corps, and her community. Debbie obtained her RN degree and bean working in the ER at Southampton Hospital. She continues to run as an EMT CC with SHVAC while holding down a full time job at the ER, as well as being a CPR Instructor. Over the years, Debbie has been a President, Vice President, Director, Probationary Member Officer, Driving Instructor, Fund Drive Officer, and Exposure Control Assistant.
Being a local resident, an EMS Volunteer and an ER nurse gives Deborah an insight into all three worlds. While an instrumental member of the SHVAC, Debbie has also been an influential member of her community where she has been a Girl Scout troop leader and Sag Harbor Little League Safety Officer. She embodies selflessness, is a testament to the word “volunteer”, and is truly a living Florence Nightingale.
Deborah was the 2017 REMSCO Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year, and the 2021 Honorable Mention Professional Nurse of Excellence.