May 28, 2014

Riverdale Ambulance Service revived

Submitted by

JO ANN WINISTORFER

How’d they do it?

That’s the first question lots of folks living in towns with at-risk ambulance service ask.

How did the small communities of Riverdale and Pick City manage not only to keep their ambulance service viable, but also to purchase – and pay for – a brand-new ambulance to replace their antiquated one? And in just a year and a half!

You might say Carol Ash, rural Underwood, was the spark that got the fire going. She credits an attack of kidney stones with triggering her involvement – and that of her husband, Bob – with the ambulance.

Several years ago, Bob placed a call to 9-1-1 for an ambulance to take his suffering wife to the hospital.

"We were in the old ambulance," Carol said. "The driver, EMT Don Robison (ambulance squad leader), heard me moaning from the gurney and said he couldn’t go any faster, as the entire vehicle would shake all over."

Learning that the local ambulance service – like its emergency vehicle – was in "critical condition" and in real danger of folding, the Ashes and several others got together to form VFRAS, an ungainly acronym standing for "Vital Friends of Riverdale Ambulance Service."


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