Telethon just the ticket

North Shore Cen­tral Am­bu­lance hold­ing their 14th

The Compass - - NEWS - BY DANIEL MACEACHERN/ dmaceach­ern@cb­n­com­

Time to turn on your tele­vi­sion and get out the cheque­book — the North Shore Cen­tral Am­bu­lance is hold­ing its 14th an­nual telethon next month.

San­dra Baggett, a para­medic/nurse and chair­woman of the fundrais­ing com­mit­tee, said the telethon started 14 years ago to raise money for a new am­bu­lance, af­ter gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the ve­hi­cle dried up.

“So we had to start rais­ing money for a new one our­selves. And then ev­ery year, from then on we ac­tu­ally raised enough money — be­tween the telethon, we used to have af­ter­noon tea and a few other things — we had enough within the first cou­ple years to pay one to­tally off.”

A cou­ple of years later, Baggett said one telethon alone was enough to pay for a needed $20,000 de­fib­ril­la­tor. Since then, apart from a sec­ond am­bu­lance — gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions dic­tate that am­bu­lances are re­placed ev­ery ten years, re­gard­less of mileage, she ex­plained — the telethon raises money for gen­eral med­i­cal sup­plies and to re­place ob­so­lete or worn-out equip­ment.

The goal this year is $10,000, which is more than the $7,000-$8,000 Baggett said was raised last year, but much less than sev­eral years, in­clud­ing the year that al­most $30,000 was raised to pur­chase the de­fib­ril­la­tor, largely on the strength of one per­son alone do­nat­ing $20,000.

The telethon au­di­ence will — as in years past — be able to watch the event live, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 11, on Per­sona Com­mu­ni­ca­tion’s com­mu­nity ca­ble Chan­nel 6 in Lower Is­land Cove. Busi­nesses that wish to do­nate on air are en­cour­aged to do so, and lo­cal bands are slated to play dur­ing the event.

“All the mon­eys go to the am­bu­lance ser­vice. It’s not do­nated any­where else, ex­cept to the 11 com­mu­ni­ties we serve along the North Shore, from Kingston to Job’s Cove,” she said. “That money stays in this area. It stays and goes di­rectly to­wards the am­bu­lance.”

Baggett also ac­knowl­edged that many peo­ple who do­nated have used or will some­day need to use the ser­vice.

“A lot of peo­ple that have do­nated money have used the am­bu­lance, and it’s re­ally well ap­pre­ci­ated, the fact that the am­bu­lance was there.”

The North Shore Cen­tral Am­bu­lance ser­vice was formed in 1974 by area vol­un­teers. In­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Baggett notes that it is the only am­bu­lance ser­vice li­cenced by the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers of Pub­lic Util­i­ties “to pro­vide pre-hospi­tal care to the more than 2,500 res­i­dents liv­ing in the 11 com­mu­ni­ties on the North Shore of Con­cep­tion Bay.” The non-profit ser­vice op­er­ates 24 hours a day, staffed by both paid and vol­un­teer pro­fes­sion­als.

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