North Lake Emergency Services Inc., a non-profit, volunteer organization, finally received enough money to purchase a more modern ambulance.
The new, 2012 4-wheel drive Dodge was operational by the first week of April.
Prior to raising the money, North Lake had two emergency vehicles. One of the vehicles was designated for transport to Bend, while the other was slated to work the sand dunes. The new ambulance is a huge upgrade over the one they replaced.
The former ambulance had computer issues and often overheated on long drives. Since the nearest hospital to North Lake is St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, over 100 miles away, North Lake EMS couldn’t bank on an unreliable vehicle in emergency situations.
Attempting to get enough money to purchase a new ambulance was a long, painstaking process that started over half a decade ago.
A private donor pledged to donate $100,000 in matching funds if North Lake EMS could raise that much money for their new ambulance. Instead, about $95,000 was collected through donations, service bills, and memorial donations.
The private donor advanced them $35,000. Their staff and Board of Directors started a print campaign to get the word out for the rest of the money. They put letters in each of the newspapers of North Lake and received approximately $15,000 in donations from community members within a span of 4-5 months. North Lake EMS paid cash for the new ambulance, which cost a total of $135,000. Everyone participated in the fundraising process. The Board of Directors talked to friends, neighbors, and business people in the community about the need for a new ambulance, according to Secretary Treasurer and volunteer first-responder Patty Effingham.
“We have a very positive board,” she said. “If we have a need, they’re working on it. We couldn’t ask for a better board of directors.”