Giving Back, Saving Lives

Professionally, Bob Levy was a stockbroker. Civically, he’s spent much of his 31 years in Westport involved with STAR Lighting the Way, the non-profit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

But he’s always admired EMTs. “They’re volunteers. Day and night, they’re out helping people,” Levy says.

During COVID, they still did it. Emergency medical technicians are “very special super-heroes.”

Levy asked his friend Adria Belport — a member of Weston’s EMS — what units most needed. Equipment, she said.

Belport’s husband, Michael Loeb, had helped Levy’s philanthropic efforts in the past. This time, the duo added kindred local spirits, including Don Ehrenberg, Bill Felton, Dr. John Schneider and Milt Wolfson. “I’m so proud to be associated with these guys,” Levy says.

They had lunch, discussed their own good fortunes in life — investment banking, psychotherapy, real estate development, medicine, corporate governance and business — and pledged to help.

Their funds provided a much-needed trailer for Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service‘s utility task vehicle, used when rescuing people during off-road trauma or medical emergencies.

Bob Levy (left) and Michael Loeb (right) present Michael Burns, Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, with a “Giving Back” check.

Weston’s EMS received AEDs (automatic external defibrillators). The portable devices treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

“Many people are not aware that Westport and Weston EMS are volunteer organizations — not funded by their towns,” Levy says.

His group calls itself Giving Back Fairfield County. It sounds like this is just the start — and it is.

Each year, they’ll raise funds to sustain and improve the quality of life in the area, by giving back to a deserving organization.

“We don’t usually tell people what we’re doing,” he says of his and his friends’ past philanthropy. “But the news is so bad these days, it’s important for people to hear good news.”

Giving Back Fairfield County is good news indeed. To learn more, email info@givingbackfc.org.

4 responses to “Giving Back, Saving Lives

  1. Michael and Bob, thank you for your contributions to our town and for setting a great example. I would like to invite you to come present the details to our local Rotary Club. I think you will find many like-minded community contributors and friends eager to roll up our sleeves and make a difference like you. You can email me at bruce.a.paul@gmail.com

  2. jon weingarten

    To set the record straight, Westport EMS charges patients for their services and receives significant revenues to support their operations, while Weston EMS is a free service to the community and never charges for either our emergency or prevention services. Everyone of our members are volunteers and we self fund our Operating and Capital requirements through contributions from Weston residents.
    Jon Weingarten
    President – Weston EMS

  3. MEDICARE AND AARP REIMBURSE WESTPORTS EMS. IN ADDITION I MAKE SUBSTANTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEM.
    STAFF MAY VOLUNTEER THEIR SERVICES. BUT AMBULANCE AND SUPPLIES NEED TO BE PURCHASED.. JON WEINGARTEN
    DON’T BE CRITICAL

  4. To set the record 100% correct, Westport is a much larger town than Weston so we have much greater needs for EMS services. Yes, Westport does collect from patient’s insurance companies and that revenue pays for our full time staff, the 24/7 Norwalk Paramedic on staff, and assorted building and insurance costs. The town does not pay for the supplies and equipment such as the ambulances- Westport Volunteer EMS pays for all of that in addition to helping staff our 3 ambulances 24/7. We have been fortunate to receive many donations from the residents of Westport to pay for these items but unlike other towns we do not have any benefactors. Thank you to all of the residents of Westport who understand this and donate to keep our service the first class service that it is. If anyone has any questions on this matter, please feel free to reach out to me.
    Michael Burns
    President – Westport Volunteer EMS

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