Frank Poley, of Mechanicsburg, is a retired Messianic Rabbi who is now volunteering his time as EMS Chaplain with the Assembly of God Church.
The 73-year-old rides along with crews at Cumberland Goodwill EMS in Carlisle at least three times a week. “I try to provide comfort to the patients,” said Poley.
Poley says for many patients it is their first time in an ambulance and the lights and sirens can be scary. He makes it his mission to make them feel comfortable.
“I talk to them and tell them what is happening and ask if I can pray for them. I never push it on anyone,” said Poley.
Poley’s presence can also make it easier for the paramedics to do their job.
“I think it is a positive thing. It does provide a comfort measure for the patient, whether they hold their hand or talk with them,” said Jeffrey Salisbury, Asst. Chief of Operations, Cumberland Goodwill EMS.
Poley also helps more than the patients in the ambulance. EMS crews can be called out to some horrific crashes and disturbing scenes where they have to focus on the patients and put their emotions to the side.
“I think Frank really helps the staff here. He will sit and talk with our crews and even follow up with them days later,” said Salisbury.
“They need help too. I have been on some calls where they just bawl their eyes out. We come back here and just hold each other close and talk and try to talk through the situation. They can not keep it in. They have got to talk it out,” said Poley. “That does not mean that when I get home in the evening that I do not fall apart. Yes I do. I sure do.”
Poley says every moment he spends helping others is worth any tears he may shed. “It has given me purpose where I am not doing things for me, but for others. To me that is the biggest blessing I can get,” said Poley.
Poley has been volunteering as an EMS Chaplain for 6 years.