The majority of ambulance services in our rural West Central Ohio region are operated by devoted volunteers. Each community supports their own Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program through special levies but the funds collected are often not enough to upgrade their medical equipment.
Our local Coldwater (Ohio) EMS agency recently held a fund drive to raise money for two power cots and a 700-pound capacity patient load system, which operates by the push of a button.
“Loading and unloading patients has accounted for several back, arm and leg injuries over the years due to the lifting involved,” Coldwater EMS driver Jack Schwegman said.
The EMS team also purchased an automatic chest compression system via the fundraising campaign. The group used a $40,000 safety intervention grant from the state of Ohio and about $58,000 in private donations to purchase the equipment.
Many area companies and individuals generously gave to the cause. TotallyPromotional.com, which is located within the Coldwater EMS jurisdiction, also donated toward the effort.
Schwegman said the money collected during the campaign helps the 30-plus squad members as well as the public who relies on them.
“The equipment purchased greatly reduces the potential for injury to our members and more importantly improves safety for our patients,” he said. “Without the help from our community and the state of Ohio, our dream of having two power cots with load systems and (a second) Lucas automatic chest compression system would have been nearly impossible.”
Ashlee Heinl-Botkin, an EMT and the group's spokeswoman, said it's important for EMS members to be properly equipped to provide the best care for their patients.
“You just don't ever want to show up on the scene without the equipment you need,” she said.
Coldwater EMS is also considering the purchase of bariatric features to make the power cots useable for even larger people. The cost would be approximately $5,000, Schwegman said.
The staff at TotallyPromotional.com would like to thank the hard work and dedication of the Coldwater EMS!