It’s EMS Appreciation Week, so I’m going to show appreciation to everyone.

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As many of you know, I’m a volunteer with my local, rural ambulance service. Stoneham Rescue Service is a non-profit 501c3 organization that was established in 1978 to serve the rural western Maine communities of Waterford, Stoneham, Albany Township, and Lovell. Lovell is the home of the author Stephen King. The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation just gave us a grant to purchase two Lucas CPR devices, a huge thing for a little organization like ours. They cost about $16k each. The Lucas device can perform CPR on a patient mechanically and consistently. This is a big deal. Medical and fire equipment is stupid expensive :(. \

Prior to the formation of SRS, emergency trauma and medical service was handled by neighboring towns. Now, if you aren’t familiar with this part of Maine (and many aren’t), “neighboring” means “way too far away if you are in need of help quickly.” This sign is about 1/2 mile from my house, known as “The World Traveler” sign. As you can see, you can tour the world without leaving Maine :). 

The downside of this is 15 miles is from the town border of the closest town. The rescue service in that town is another 5 miles in. If they were to respond to my house, that’s at least 20 minutes, closer to 30 because you have to get to the station, get out of the station, and drive on class 2 roads to get here. If I’m lying on the floor, that’s too long.

Our coverage area is about 50 miles from end to end, operating out of two stations about 5 miles apart in the center of this area. We can pretty much reach any spot in our area in under 20 minutes. Yeh, that is still a long time when you are in need of help, but typically we can get most places in 10 minutes or less. During the day (6am-6pm) we are staffed with two per-diem providers who are at the station, ready to respond quickly. At night, we are a volunteer operation who respond from our homes to the station in most cases, though if it is faster for one of us to go directly to the scene from home, we will do that. The other person will get the ambulance and meet us there. If we need more help, we can call in mutual aid partners, other volunteers, and\or the fire departments. About 58% of all EMS services in the United States are at least 50% volunteer or unpaid responders, though unfortunately, volunteering is becoming lost in the shuffle of life. We see a 100% increase in population during the summer from tourism, this adds a load and complexity to the situation, but regardless of who you are, where you are from, we will do our best to take care of you.

Regardless of paid or not, I thank every one of you for doing what you do. And this is what I’m going to do:

1) Anyone who purchase anything from the Hobbit store will get 10% the total purchase. Use CODE: av6ffh8r at checkout.
2) I will match dollar for dollar all purchases and donate half to Stoneham Rescue Service and half to our sister service Fryeburg Rescue, plus whatever profit is from the purchase.
3) For every purchase made, I will donate one case of Quest bars to both services to have on hand for snacks.
4) Any total purchase over $100 will get a free t-shirt (shown below), use CODE: KEUAP7RU
5) Not interested in shopping, that’s ok. You can donate directly to SRS from our FB page. I’m on the board of directors, any donation I’ll match 100%. Here’s the SRS Facebook page if you want to see what we are up to.

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