Community Service: Felix Cabrera has been an emergency medical technician, or EMT, for six years. He has also volunteered with the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps (FHVAC) for the past two years.
“I love it, I really enjoy being a part of the Forest Hills community,” he said. “It’s like a second family.”
Cabrera was recently promoted from EMT attendant to crew chief, a position that comes with more responsibilities. He recently became the public relations officer for FHVAC, too.
“There are a lot of people who don’t realize that Forest Hills has a volunteer ambulance corps,” Cabrera said. “We can get anywhere in Forest Hills within two to three minutes.”
He added he is trying to get the community more involved with FHVAC through programs like the youth corps, which trains 14- to 17-year-olds to become EMTs.
Background: Born and raised in Queens, Cabrera was a member of the NYPD Explorers program when he was young. He moved to Maspeth when he was 18 and became a certified EMT two years later.
Favorite Memory: “I used to transport this patient, an elderly man with no family, no relatives or anything,” Cabrera recalled. “I used to visit him on holidays, bring him food on Thanksgiving and Christmas to show him that somebody cared, and we were pretty close.”
Biggest Challenge: Cabrera’s main goal is increasing the number of people FHVAC can help. That means getting the word out.
“We need more events, more open houses, more volunteers,” he said. “It’s beyond the funding aspect. It’s the fact that we want our community to be a part of us.”
Cabrera added that a lot of people who work with FHVAC are not from Forest Hills, but he would like to see more volunteers from the neighborhood.
Inspiration: Cabrera has always been driven to help people.
“There’s so much negativity in the world and there’s not much I can do about it,” he said. “But I can help out a little as an EMT. People think, ‘If an EMT is here, everything is going to be okay.’ And I like knowing that I make people feel safe.”
BY LUKE TABET