SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - EMS workers are always the first to help, but now some are asking for your help to pay for supplies.
Four teenagers make up the emergency medical technician crew at the Sackets Harbor ambulance squad. They’re challenged with saving people’s lives in the middle of a pandemic.
Nine months into it, they are turning to the community for help.
“The cost of PPE and supplies is going up significantly. We’re in full mask, gown, goggles and everything for everyone of our patient contacts that we make,” said Andrew Deierlein, ambulance driver.
The department is fully-driven by donations. On average, it receives $20,000 per year, but it’s asking for twice that amount for 2021 to buy supplies - supplies that are hard to come by.
“We’re waiting four or five weeks now to get shipments of this in, just so we have enough for all of us on calls,” said Deierlein.
It’s gotten to the point where some of the volunteers have had to pay for supplies right out of their own pocket.
EMT Ashley Wilson says they have enough PPE right now, but they can go through it quickly.
“If you go on a call with a patient who has been tested positive for COVID or has been exposed to COVID, you have to throw all your PPE because it has been exposed to COVID,” said Wilson.
If Sackets Harbor needs extra PPE, neighboring squads usually help out.
But this group of young helpers wants to concentrate on helping the community and not worrying if it has enough masks and gloves.
The squad has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.