Saturday, October 27, 2012

Caroline's ambulance service has new home

The new ambulance building is officially open - ambulance service founder Andrew Moffat, board president Dwight Oliver, operations  (and building construction) manager Yvonne Evans and board member Vern Graham

Photos and story by Helge Nome

Thirty years after having been incorporated the Caroline and District Volunteer Ambulance Association has a new home, in a recently built and just expanded building next to the post office in Caroline. The event was celebrated at an open house hosted by the association on Friday, October 26 with local early volunteers, municipal representatives and supporters present.

Conducted tours of the new facility were led by operations manager Yvonne Evans, revealing a completely "at home" atmosphere in the residential part of the building used by volunteers covering 24/7 shifts all year round. Caroline's ambulance service is one-of-a-kind in Alberta where Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics from all over Alberta volunteer to keep the service viable and an integral part of the province's emergency medical response infrastructure.

In return the volunteers are credited for the time they cover shifts in Caroline, helping to maintain their certification as medical responders, and now do so in an environment that equals that of their private homes. To boot, it happens in a small rural community in the best part of Alberta. And they are not idle here: Evans estimates that  the call tally for 2012 will be around the 500 mark. This includes patient transportation between hospitals, being part of an ambulance pool.

Service founder, and mover and shaker to get it up and running in the late 1970ies, Andrew Moffat along with wife Daphne, attended and were recognized for their contribution at a presentation in the new facility.

As the demands on the service grew over the years and fewer local volunteers were available to carry the 24/7 workload, Moffat took an innovative approach to maintaining its integrity by recruiting volunteers from other areas of Alberta in return for a very special work environment and credit for time on shift. This system has been continually expanded over the years and Caroline is now a sought after location in which to serve by ambulance service professionals from all over Alberta.

The service was recently accredited after having gone through an extensive review by Accreditation Canada, a fact that was emphasized by manager Yvonne Evans in her presentation. She also expressed her thanks to both the Village of Caroline and Clearwater County who have helped the service financially in times past when things got tight.
For more photos and commentary from the open house, go to here

No comments: