2009-02-19 / Editorial

Ambulance fund drive needs your support


As part of its annual appeal, this week the Jamestown Emergency Medical Services is asking for donations from the community to help purchase a nearly new ambulance.

JEMS Chief Ralph Aresti explains: "Because of ongoing mechanical issues with our ambulances the purchase of a new ambulance is critical. The Jamestown EMS Ambulance Committee has spent the last few months looking at available units. Brand-new, custom built units are out of reach financially.

"The committee has located a new, 2008 demo rescue unit that meets our needs, is reasonably priced and is cost effective. We can purchase this unit if we act now. A delay would mean continuing to use our mechanically aging fleet," he said.

Each time the ambulance rolls in Jamestown it is staffed by volunteers. There are at least three people on a shift. JEMS responds to all medical, trauma and fire calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

JEMS averages about 600 runs per year. Each year, JEMS receives about $200,000 from the town's general budget, which helps cover the overhead. The balance of the JEMS budget comes from the community donations made during the annual appeal.

The Karl Smith Ambulance Fund was started about five years ago and has raised about 80 percent of what is needed to purchase the demo rescue unit. The entire annual appeal this year is dedicated to raising the additional monies needed to purchase the ambulance.

An ambulance can make the difference between life and death. We're talking about your life and the lives of your family members and friends and neighbors.

Even in these difficult financial times, our health is our most valuable asset. Your help is needed to keep JEMS rolling in the years ahead.

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