Byron Rescue Squad seeks donations for new ambulance
Imagine calling 911 for your emergency and nobody came! In times like these, it could be a possibility, but our little Byron Fire Department and Rescue Squad does not want this to happen to you! Last year this small-town squad answered a whopping 276 calls for 9-1-1 in and around the town of Byron. These are the most calls answered from any volunteer ambulance squad in all of Genesee County
The Byron Rescue Squad, started in 1976 has never received any tax dollars, they are funded only by donations. The dedicated volunteers of this small devoted squad are ready and willing to help, but their 14-year-old ambulance is aging and repairs are becoming very costly. The squad is in desperate need of a new one. The old, outdated ambulance currently in use will last a little longer, but action is needed quickly otherwise the community may be without the critical care vehicle needed to respond to emergencies.
Everyone knows that the cost of nearly everything is rising. Items that were always available are now unpredictable or unavailable. This is the case with our medical supplies as well. Luckily our dedicated volunteers are still more than generous with their time and are happy to arrive at nearly every emergency call in our community ready and willing to assist. Each call requires a driver and at least one EMT. Depending on the emergency, many times additional fire personnel are required to manage the scene, give lifting assistance and provide whatever help needed to safely transport the patient to the hospital. Once at the hospital, ambulance personnel are required to remain with the patient until the hospital’s ER staff releases them and takes on the responsibility of that patient. With COVID and the hospital staff shortages, that time has increased. However, releasing the patient to the hospital is not the end of the rescue squad’s duties! It sometimes takes an hour or more to complete the required documentation.
Every year Byron Rescue sends out to each household a letter requesting donations. Luckily, we receive donations from some of our residents and we are very grateful for those donations. It helps us cover the cost of gas, supplies, some training, and light maintenance of our vehicle and equipment. This past year we had a most generous donation from an average couple (who wishes to remain anonymous). Their donation of $10,000 really jump-started our most needed mission to purchase a new ambulance. Other donations come to us via United Way and a go-fund-me page on the Byron Rescue Squad Facebook page or use this link - https://gofund.me/c0d1d2f7. There are also pledges from some generous individuals made in their last will and testament. A very thoughtful way to say thank you and a final giving gesture to keep Byron a safe place to work and live.
In addition, our department does continue to do fundraising, however, fundraising is very time-consuming, and takes away time volunteers might otherwise have for themselves or helping others. We are planning a chicken bar-b-que this Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th after the Memorial Day parade. This will be held at the Byron Fire Hall around 11:30 a.m. until food is sold out. It will again be a drive-thru event. The cost this year will be $15.00 a half chicken with home-made macaroni salad, coleslaw, and roll. Our firemen will also be outside seeking boot donations. Please plan to come early to enjoy this most delicious meal!!
The cost of a new ambulance is approximately $200,000. We need to push forward so our dream of a new ambulance can be realized. It is becoming a financial burden to continue patching up our old ambulance; it is draining the funds we need to operate. We will reach a point when we will have to take our current ambulance out of service, but hopefully, we will have a new one purchased before that time comes!
Our Byron Rescue Squad is reaching out to anyone who would like to help us help others by donating to this more than worthy cause. Byron is a great place to live and raise a family, and for the most part our little community has wonderful, caring people, and our community should be very thankful for that! COVID has been a great time to reflect on and be thankful for what we have. We know not everyone has the knowledge and ability to help out when a Medical Emergency happens, and it is sometimes difficult for our volunteers to stop in the midst of their day or night and run to the fire hall, and head out to help those who are probably having the worst day in their life, but that’s what our volunteers do day after day! Everyone who can help should help a little!
If you are a person who likes to help others, consider lending your talents and skills to our dedicated Byron Rescue Squad. Fall EMT classes are free and they start in September and run through March, usually Tuesdays and Thursday nights in Batavia. There is training here in Byron at the Fire Hall on Monday nights, feel free to stop by and say hello. Please don’t wait for an emergency to do your part, help us get this new ambulance on the road so that we can all be safe!
Is anyone exploring possible grants to help cover the cost? It seems with the pandemic creating more calls over the last 2+ years that there should be financial assistance from somewhere.