Grant dollars at work in our community

It is no secret that our First Responders are faced with difficult working conditions on a daily basis. From the extreme heat they have been dealing with this summer, to the extreme cold we’ll see in the near future. Our firefighters face extreme working conditions when operating in this summer heat which is drastically amplified when they are fully geared up. Extended work periods, without rehab, can be life-threatening to our firefighters.

The Morgan County Emergency Medical Services Association (MCEMSA) recently acquired a previously owned ambulance (pictured below) that we have converted into a Rehab Support Unit (RSU) that can be used to support our first responders at the scene of extended incidents. Our unit is stocked with warm and cold drinks, finger foods, cooling fans, cooling towels, coolers of ice, canopies, and other items to directly provide rehabilitation to our police, fire, and EMS personnel. Additionally, we have it stocked with some basic medical supplies to monitor personnel after they have performed their duties.

We have also stocked our Rehab Support Unit with care packages that we will provide to residents displaced after a fire or something that forces them from their homes. These care packages include warm blankets, personal hygiene products, child toys, and a few other comfort items. While this is not much for someone who has lost everything, it is a start towards their recovery. We want to try to lessen the blow of their tragic loss in whatever way we can.

We recently received a grant from the Community Foundation of Morgan to help support our unit. The grant was used to purchase a small commercial ice machine, a hotdog roller machine, and fuel for the unit. With the purchase of our ice maker, we have been able to ensure we have two large coolers always stocked with a variety of drinks which are always on ice. We can ensure cold drinks to the first responders 24/7/365. The hotdog machine provides fully cooked hot dogs in a short period of time and has already been utilized several times on long-term incidents and at several training sessions.

Our RSU has no external funding source and is solely funded through donations. Without community support, our unit would cease to exist. We have responded to over 50 different incidents in the past year in Morgan, Brown, and Putnam Counties. The continually rising costs of diesel fuel has drastically reduced the amount of our reserve funds so any assistance from outside agencies ensures we can continue to support the first responders in Morgan and surrounding counties. We are currently capable of supporting a large incident that might last for several hours to several days. We are greatly appreciative of the Community Foundation of Morgan County for selecting our organization for a Capacity Grant.

Thank You,
Charles Heflin, President
Morgan County EMS Association

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