PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has announced the arrival of its new critical care transport ambulance, which was completely funded by donations.
The vehicle will be used to take critically ill or injured patients from anywhere in The County to larger healthcare facilities downstate or even Boston.
“This ambulance is going to allow us to get people safely to a higher level of care when they need it,” Greg LaFrancois, president of AR Gould Hospital, said at a recent event to thank donors to the project. “It allows us to enjoy the rural life that we want to live while still being able to have safe access to critical care.”
The words “A Gift from Our Generous Community” are emblazoned on the side of the vehicle to honor the many people and organizations that contributed to the fundraising effort.
Top donors include an anonymous individual in memory of Marion Miller Chase, the Mautz children in memory of Cait, The County Federal Credit Union, and Northern Light AR Gould medical staff. Generous support was also given by three foundations: Davis Family Foundation, Lucia P. Fulton Foundation and Fisher Charitable Foundation.
“We are extremely happy to make a contribution, on behalf of our membership, to this very essential critical care transport vehicle,” stated Ryan Ellsworth, CFCU president and CEO.
“We all love living in rural northern Maine for the way of life it provides all of us. On the occasions when we need to transport patients to a more advanced specialty of health care service, we simply need to have reliable transportation that is specifically designed for those acute patients to get there safely,” Ellsworth said.
The critical care transport team is thrilled to have the new vehicle to work and provide patient care in.
“This makes a huge difference in how we can take care of the community,” said team member Darrell Spooner, RN. He noted that the ambulance has many features including increased size for additional staff to help care for critical patients, extra storage for specialized equipment needed for such patients, and a state-of-the-art suspension system to provide a smoother ride.
Matt Doyen of Mapleton, who assisted in the fundraising campaign after needing transport to Boston several times due to health issues, said he remembers feeling all the bumps in the road in the old ambulance.
“It’s a long ride,” he noted, but praised the team who cared for him. “Even though I was in pain, the team always did a really good job keeping me as comfortable as possible.”
LaFrancois echoed these sentiments.
“We had the skilled people, but we did not have the resources to really deliver for The County,” he said. “I want to thank the community for coming together and making it possible for us to bring this resource here.”
Submitted by the Communications Office of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.