Coming to the rescue

Residents attend a Cape Vincent Town Council meeting in November to hear about the future of the Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad. Watertown Daily Times

In 2017, the Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad decided to become its own entity so it could recruit more members.

If it remained part of the Cape Vincent Joint Fire District, it would only be able to recruit full-time town residents. By separating itself from the district, the squad could sign up anyone 18 and older who lives in the state at least part time. This allowed officials to recruit seasonal residents from nearby communities.

However, luring additional volunteers continued to prove very challenging. The squad had prepared to disband late last year, but community involvement offered it a reprieve.

The Cape Vincent Town Council named representatives to a committee to examine potential solutions to the lack of squad members. They were able to keep the service going.

The squad now has at least 20 part-time members. This was a significant accomplishment on the part of community leaders.

The success in keeping the Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad going led to residents setting another goal. The squad will need to replace a 13-year-old ambulance before too long, and the Cape Vincent Lions Club spearheaded a fundraising campaign to obtain a new one at the French Festival last month.

Lions Club members want to raise at least $200,000 so the squad can buy a new ambulance. Donation jugs have been placed in local businesses including the French Towne Market, Citizens Bank of Cape Vincent, CRAVE and the Roxy Hotel, Bar and Restaurant.

Town Councilman Daniel A. Wiley is a member of the Lions Club. He said a letter will be sent to residents, businesses and organizations in the area to increase awareness of the fundraising campaign.

Several thousand dollars in donations have already come in. The Sons of the American Legion Post 832 also pledged $5,000.

“That was a huge kickstart to what we’re trying to accomplish,” Mr. Wiley said in a story published July 27 by the Watertown Daily Times. “We’re looking forward to everyone and anyone getting involved.”

The Cape Vincent community has once again responded in a positive manner to the needs of the ambulance squad. We encourage residents to contribute what they can to the fundraising campaign.

We also urge people to consider becoming squad volunteers. This will require time and talent. But ambulance service is essential, and we all need to do our part to ensure that the coverage available adequately serves our needs.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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