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Westport Column

You probably received a letter from Ambulance Squad Captain Ben Sudduth the other day asking you to contribute to our effort to buy a second power stretcher to replace our old one, which has to be raised and lowered manually. Please take the time to sit down and make out a check. This is an important piece of equipment and it will help us serve you better.

Why a second stretcher? Well, we have two ambulances, which is sort of a bare minimum, since you never know when one will be “out of service” when a call comes in. Actually, “out of service” means in service, since that means that it’s out on a call. Not only do we respond to calls in Westport, but we also are often called out on “mutual aid” to neighboring communities.

So say we get a call at 9:30 p.m. to assist our friends in Port Henry or Elizabethtown. We assemble a crew and take the first rig out to respond. Your average mutual aid call takes at least a couple of hours. And say at 10:30 p.m., before we’re back, Uncle Joe slips in the bathroom and goes down hard, hurting his leg and his back, and also hitting his head on the sink. You call 911 and our pagers go off again—it’s a second call, right here in town. We assemble another crew and come to Uncle Joe’s house.

Of course, all those Thanksgiving dinners over the years mean that Uncle Joe is no longer the svelte specimen of his high school years. We get to his house and tend to his injuries. His vitals are stable but we’re a little worried about that bump on the noggin. And seeing that he’s such a big guy, we’ve decided we’d better have dispatch activate the pagers again for lifting assistance. It’s going to be really hard to get him on the stretcher and then to raise the stretcher into the rig. This time we page not only the squad members but also the fire department….the upshot is, this is not the time when you, Uncle Joe’s loved one, want to him to be lying on an antiquated manual stretcher.

We’ll have an ambulance out during the Independence Day celebrations and would be very happy to show you how the stretcher works. Meantime, please take the time to support us. Thanks.

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