In 1986 the Madison Ambulance Association was founded with the mission of providing quality patient care to residents in and around Madison. They live daily by their motto of “Caring for our Community”. Their team of 33 full- and part-time EMTs and Paramedics respond to more than 1,700 requests for service, and they transport more than 1,300 patients annually. Their training is rigorous and it is only matched by their dedication to their work. But what would happen if they didn’t have the tools to do their job? That’s the situation the Association found itself in regarding a specialized piece of equipment.
The Association had been using a 25-year-old stair-chair to transport patients down flights of stairs. The “out of date” chair did the job but could cause the paramedics or the patient injury because of its age. The bottom line—they needed a new chair that was safe for patients and staff. Equipment in the emergency services field is very expensive so they turned to The Madison Foundation for help.
The Madison Foundation has had a relationship with the Ambulance Association since its inception and was willing to help with this new and somewhat urgent request. Chris Bernier has been with the Madison Ambulance Association since 2002 and has been EMS Director since March 2010. He guided the company through its recent move from its old location to its new location on Route 79. He feels this donation made a big difference.
“If you don’t have the right equipment you not only risk the safety of the patient, you risk the safety of the staff as well,” said Bernier “The tools we use in the field eliminate some problems, but using different tools can make a difference between life and death,” he concluded.
The Madison Foundation paid for the entire cost of the chair, close to $3,000. The new stair chair has wheels and treads, is ergonomically structured, and allows EMTs and paramedics to rescue a patient on a second or third floor without injury.
With the help of The Madison Foundation residents in Madison can rest assured that in the event they have to make that call to 911, the Madison Ambulance Association will always be well prepared.
This article originally appeared in The Source.