Meet South Branch Career EMT and Engineer Gregory Veneziale
Every Call Brings a Different Challenge and Another Chance to Help Others
An older woman was trapped inside her car and seriously hurt. South Branch Emergency Services Career EMT Gregory Veneziale knew that the loud noises made by the tools rescue workers would use to extricate her would sound frighteningly like the head-on collision that she had just experienced. He didn’t want her to be scared so he talked her through each step: He and his SBES crew partner reaching into the tight space to give her oxygen and treat the wounds they could reach as the rescue workers cutting off the roof of her car. Everyone working together to get her safely from the wreckage and into the helicopter that would take her to the hospital.
“I told her that we were all there to help her, and that while the sheering and breaking of the metal would sound like she was in another car accident, she was safe,” Gregory, who had been an EMT for about a year at that point, remembered.
He later realized that the training and drills and experience that came prior to that accident had allowed him to quickly decide what treatment she needed, how to provide it, and how best to assist the other first responders on scene - all while focusing on the patient.
“That was the first call where I was able to walk the patient through what I was doing as I was doing it,” he said.
How it Began To say Gregory, who is now 22, has been around emergency medical care his entire life is no exaggeration. His mom, Kirsten, is a nurse. His dad, Frank, is a life member at Flemington-Raritan First Aid & Rescue. “When I came home from the hospital as a newborn, my parents stopped at the EMS station,” Gregory said. “I was in an ambulance before I was ever in my own house.”
His dad, who is also a dispatcher, often talked to Gregory about becoming an EMT. At age 19 or 20, he finally volunteered. Almost immediately, Gregory knew he wanted to become an EMT and launch a career in emergency medical response and transit.
“I love being able to help people,” he said. “And I have ADHD – I can’t just sit down and do the same thing over and over again. As an EMT, every call is a different challenge – it’s almost like a puzzle to get through each one.”
Choosing SBES When Gregory asked other volunteers where he should go for EMT training, they recommended the SBES training center, right down the road.
Gregory soon knew he wanted to work for SBES. “During classes, when we were on breaks, the SBES crew was friendly with us. They would eat lunch with us. And I knew right off the bat it would be a great place to work.”
Gregory, who lives in Flemington, was hired as soon as he earned his certification, in May 2021. He began as a per diem EMT and became a full-time EMT and engineer – the person who oversees maintenance and upkeep of squad vehicles - in January 2023. In his off hours, Gregory, who lives in Flemington, enjoys working on and driving his car and motorcycle. He also continues to serve the community as a volunteer EMT with the Amwell Valley Ambulance Corps.