Rural Metro, Blount Memorial donate ambulance, funds to Jimani

Rural/Metro of Blount County General Manager Ron Parker, right, presents to International Medical Alliance COO Thomas Koehl, left, a fully stocked ambulance being donated by Rural/Metro to serve the needs of poor people in the border areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jane Andrews, center, presented a check for $5,000 on behalf of Blount Memorial Hospital for additional medical supplies needed in that region.

Rural/Metro of Blount County General Manager Ron Parker, right, presents to International Medical Alliance COO Thomas Koehl, left, a fully stocked ambulance being donated by Rural/Metro to serve the needs of poor people in the border areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jane Andrews, center, presented a check for $5,000 on behalf of Blount Memorial Hospital for additional medical supplies needed in that region.

Rural/Metro has donated a fully stocked ambulance and Blount Memorial Hospital has made a $5,000 donation to help a town in the western part of the Dominican Republic to serve the emergency needs of poor people in that region and eastern Haiti.

The donated ambulance will be based at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimani, Dominican Republic.

The ambulance is being delivered to the International Medical Alliance (IMA) of Tennessee, which along with other local groups built the hospital 14 years ago to provide free medical service to the poorest communities along the borders of both countries.

“The hospital and surrounding communities have a population of more than 300,000 and currently have no ambulance,” said Thomas Koehl, chief operating officer of the International Medical Alliance of Tennessee. “That’s why this donation by Rural/Metro is so critically needed and will be so much appreciated.”

Rural/Metro Division General Manager Rob Webb thanked Blount Memorial Hospital for donating additional emergency supplies to outfit the ambulance. Rural/Metro placed initial supplies in the vehicle. “Blount Memorial is a valuable health care partner with Rural/Metro, and we thank them for supporting this very worthwhile donation,” Webb said. “Anything we can do to help an already needy region devastated by an earthquake is gratifying to all Rural/Metro employees.”

Webb said Rural/Metro received a new ambulance to serve Blount County, freeing up the vehicle being sent to the Dominican Republic. The ambulance has undergone complete maintenance and has many more miles of service available, he said.

Rural/Metro provided the following supplies:

• Six ambulance stretchers

• 200 board splints

• 300 intravenous injection sets

• 1,125 2” x 2” gauze sponges

• 30 suction catheters

• Three boxes of endotracheal tubes

• 50 pediatric oxygen masks

• 275 infant oxygen masks

• Miscellaneous cardiac monitor supplies

Jane Andrews presented IMA with the $5,000 check on behalf of Blount Memorial Hospital for the additional supplies most needed to assist with the health care needs in Haiti.

“When Rural/Metro Ambulance contacted us about being a part of this and assisting with relief efforts in Haiti, we were honored to participate, as this fit with the hospital’s mission to continuously improve the health and well-being of our entire community, or in this case, of areas in Haiti,” said Blount Memorial Hospital administrator Joe Dawson. “Rural/Metro is a community partner to the hospital, which was built on a foundation of partnering, and we are glad to be involved with this outreach effort.”

The hospital in Jimani has received help from many East Tennessee groups, the Baptist Foundation, churches and individuals under the umbrella of The Jimani Project.

Rural/Metro of Tennessee is the largest emergency service provider in East Tennessee, with a combined work force of more than 715 firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, telecommunicators and other support personnel. Rural/Metro Ambulance Service is the only accredited provider in the state, with contracts for 911 service in Knox, Blount, Loudon and Franklin counties.

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