NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps needs a new ambulance.
“Many of your neighbors spend countless hours training and responding to calls for help. Should you ever need us, we’ll be there. Right now, we need you,” says the corps' website.
“We answer about 425 calls a year,” Ambulance Corps Capt. Maria Hlushko said. “We take cases to four different hospitals, Northern Westchester, Putnam, Danbury and the Westchester Medical Center, depending on what’s nearest, or if the patient requests a certain hospital. For every call, we drive between 15 and 25 miles, depending on the level of the call.”
Corps President Kurt Guldan said, “We used to get grant money, but we don’t anymore. We’re a 100 percent volunteer organization and we’re funded by the town and private donations.”
“Our old ambulance is a 1988 model and it has over 60,000 miles on it,” Hlushko said. “It really takes a beating. The patient compartment is 25 years old. We had it mounted onto a new chassis in 1999, but we really need a whole new ambulance.”
“A new one will cost about $180,000,” said Guldan. “And it takes a year to get it, because it needs to be customized.”
The Ambulance Corps has a second ambulance, purchased in 2009, so it has a long life expectancy. “But we’ve got to replace the old one,” Guldan said.
“So we need the funds sooner than later,” added corps Secretary Suzanne Sandbank.
To raise money for the new ambulance, members of the Ambulance Corps are organizing their first Winter Gala, to be held next month at the Salem Golf Club.
“”We’ll have a buffet dinner, including food and drinks, and a cash bar, and live entertainment, dancing, music by The Jazz Holes, a silent auction and raffles,” Hlushko said.
“Right now, we’re looking for businesses to donate items for the auction and raffles. Also, businesses and personal supporters to take out ads in the program we’ll publish for that night,” she continued.
If you would like to make a donation toward the purchase of the new ambulance, or if you would like to purchase an ad in the Winter Gala program, visit the website or call 914-277-4944.
The Winter Gala is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23. The cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m., followed by the buffet dinner at 7 p.m. The dancing, music, entertainment and silent auction will fill out the night, ending about 11 p.m.
The Salem Golf Club is at 18 Bloomer Road, North Salem. Tickets for the gala are $75 per person. To purchase tickets, go to the website.