Christmas came early to Barriere First Responders Society (BARFS) when they received notification from BC Community Gaming that they were to be a grant recipient. BC Community Gaming grants support not- for- profit organizations providing programs or services of direct benefit to the broader community, something that Barriere First Responders are all about. The grant totals $87,500 and is to be put towards the purchase of a brand new first responder ambulance.
Barriere First Responder vice-president Drew McMartin says, “They awarded us $87,500 to put towards the purchase of a response vehicle. We had already spoke with several different manufacturers and chose to work with Malley Industries out of New Brunswick.”
McMartin noted that Malley Industries worked with the group to remove non-essential ambulance equipment from the unit to reduce the final cost to something they could afford.
“The unit is being shipped to use hopefully by the end of January and will come bare bones,” said McMartin, “We are responsible for stocking the unit and having reflective decals placed on the outside.”
He notes that the group currently only have enough funds on hand to purchase and register the vehicle.
“We are looking for funds towards putting the finishing touches on, such as the decals and other essentials,” said McMartin, “We need a minimum of $3500 to finish it enough to be response capable.”
McMartin tells that they will be actively fundraising to reach their goal, starting with members of the group providing first aid services at the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere on Dec. 31 for the annual New Year’s Eve professional bull riding event where they will also have a table set up to take donations and provide information about the organization.
Asked what they would do with the older ambulance they currently own McMartin answered, “We will be retiring our old ambulance that was donated to us by the BC Ambulance Society when we started.”
Asked if Barriere First Responders will now be able to transport patients once they have a new ambulance, McMartin answered, “We do not transport patients, we stabilize them until BC Ambulance arrives.”
He did note that they will be capable of transporting if they respond to a mass casualty where they may be required to transport.
“The unit allows us to treat people at motor vehicle accidents inside a warm dry environment out of the public eye,” said McMartin.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Barriere First Responders Society towards the new ambulance you can do so by sending a cheque to: PO Box 374, Barriere, B.C., V0E 1E0, or visit their website at: www.bafrs.org and under the ‘sponsor’ tab you can donate via PayPal. You can also find them on Facebook: Barriere First Responders