Telethon just the ticket
North Shore Central Ambulance holding their 14th
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.