Ambulance service needs new vehicleThe Lake County Ambulance Service needs help in purchasing a new ambulance. Gina Heinzen, director for the non-profit, said one of the ambulances has had a lot of engine problems and is at the end of its 10-year life expectancy.
The Lake County Ambulance Service needs help in purchasing a new ambulance.
Gina Heinzen, director for the non-profit, said one of the ambulances has had a lot of engine problems and is at the end of its 10-year life expectancy. A new rig will cost $120,000-$135,000. There already is $40,000 raised in a 2007 drive.
Heinzen said regular ambulance replacement has fallen behind schedule due to tough economic times and insurance reimbursement cutbacks.
She said the county has written checks before or helped with getting a good loan for a new ambulance but LCAS would rather not do that. Lake County provides an annual subsidy to cover operating shortfalls if necessary.
Heinzen said the service would get a new vehicle before one became unsafe for transport.
There are five ambulances in the fleet with two in Silver Bay and two in Two Harbors. There is an extra ambulance available on standby.
The service has five paid staff members to cover management, maintenance, training, budgeting, scheduling, and other tasks. There are 45 people considered casual employees who are paid a small stipend when on-call and a small wage when on active duty. Each station is staffed with at least two emergency medical technicians at all times.
“People don’t do it as part of their income,” Heinzen said. Many people also donate time.
The service covers a region marked by rough roads and long distances between calls and hospitals in Lake, Cook, and St. Louis counties. Heinzen said between Two Harbors and Silver Bay, the service is called out about 1,000 times a year.
All of the money from the fund-raiser will be put into a restricted fund to go toward a new ambulance.
Where to donate
Donations may be mailed to or dropped off at either office. The Two Harbors office is located at 421 20th Ave. and the one in Silver Bay is at 87 Banks Boulevard.