Responding to 1,722 calls last year, the Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps — GOVAC — clearly answers many community emergency needs.
GOVAC, which has been serving the community, including much of Hamptonburgh, since 1973, has proven it has the medical skills and public compassion to serve well.
So that it may continue its high level of service, GOVAC is now conducting its yearly fundraiser.
“To date, GOVAC has raised $21,405,” said GOVAC President George Lyons. "Our goal is $40,000."
The funds are targeted to two projects: purchase of a new building that will better suit its needs than the close quarters currently on New Street, and to purchase a new ambulance.
“Ideally GOVAC would like to buy land and construct a pole barn with a metal frame," Lyons said. "Purchasing the land would be our biggest obstacle, but we are saving toward that goal.”
GOVAC's ambulance, a 2007 model, has 90,000 miles on the odometer.
“We monitor the amount of mechanic's bills we get, and they’re increasing," Lyons said. "We’re in the process of looking for a new ambulance and putting money aside."
The fundraising mailer also includes a call for new volunteers, who Lyons said “are scarcer than hen’s teeth.”
GOVAC has seven volunteers and a paid staff to supplement volunteer help when needed.
“We have been forced to hire additional paid staff so that we have 24/7 emergency coverage 365 days a year,” Lyons said.
Additionally, when GOVAC is on another call and can’t meet an incoming call, it has a reciprocal contract with Mobile Life and the Town of Wallkill.
GOVAC is a basic life support service certified to perform such tasks as applying fingersticks for glucose testing, administering albuterol for asthma, applying a suction device for breathing relief, using the Lukas Machine for automatic CPR, and freeing hands for other procedures. Town of Wallkill and Mobile Life have a paramedic on board for more advanced care.
GOVAC is called upon to perform a variety of services, including:
Lift assistance — helping people who have fallen from a bed, wheelchair, or chair
EDPs — transporting emotionally disturbed people to Access at Orange Regional Medical Center
Resolving basic health issues
Dealing with domestic and physical disputes
Responding to motor vehicle accidents and transporting the injured to the hospital
How to make a contribution
To contribute to GOVAC, mail a tax-deductible donation to GOVAC, P.O. Box 695, Goshen, N.Y.
Or give online: On Facebook, go to “Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps Inc.” and click through to "The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.”
The GOVAC fundraising event will conclude on Sept. 15. But if you've missed your fundraising mailer, another one should arrive at your home soon. Lyons urges you and your family members to read the brochure, donate, and help GOVAC save a life.
On the back of the brochure is a form for listing “Important Emergency Information.” Filling it out and putting it on your refrigerator would greatly aid emergency personnel if called to your home.
MAKE A CONTRIBUTION