Monday, January 12, 2015

Rural town using crowdfunding to raise money to replace old, unreliable ambulance

In another example of a rural town turning to the ever-growing world of crowdfunding when local and state funds won't cover costs, the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department in northwestern New York is using a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to replace an unreliable 15-year-old ambulance that serves 200 households, Emma Sapong reports for The Buffalo News.

The ambulance recently spent one and a half days in the shop, leaving the town without an ambulance, Sapong writes. Kelly O’Neil, a basic EMT with the department’s ambulance service, told her, “Our fear is if we don’t replace the ambulance soon, we won’t be able to meet all the needs of the community." (Best Places map)

The Fire Department receives funding from fire protection taxes, but the ambulance service relies solely on donations and fundraisers, Sapong writes. Ambulances are supposed to be replaced every 10 years, but a lack of funding delayed the purchase of a new vehicle. The department also failed to qualify for a FEMA grant. Officials can respond to calls in fire trucks if the ambulance is unavailable or ask for assistance from Mercy EMS in Batavia, but Mercy is a paid service, O’Neil said. (Read more)

Rural towns in Kansas and Kentucky are using crowdfunding to raise money for a grocery store and to re-open a theatre.

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