Ontario foundation seeks donations to help support emergency service providers

Doug Williams, a paramedic with Treasure Valley Paramedics, works on equipment at the emergency service facility in Ontario last week. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

ONTARIO – A local nonprofit that provides needed equipment and training to emergency service providers across the region recently kicked off a fundraising campaign.

The Treasure Valley Paramedics Foundation fundraising program – called the “Paramedic Forward Campaign” – will run through the end of the year.

The foundation is the nonprofit arm of Ontario’s Treasure Valley Paramedics, one of half a dozen county emergency service providers.

The foundation was created about six years ago, said Heather Land, vice president and chief financial officer for Treasure Valley Paramedics.

Land said when the foundation was created the goal was to stay in existence for only a few years.

“But it has been such a blessing we are trying to find ways to keep it going,” she said.

Since its inception, Treasure Valley Paramedics funded the foundation but rising costs prompted officials to seek help from the public through the fundraising effort.

 “We are now reaching the state where we need to start working on fundraising to keep the nonprofit going,” said Land.

The foundation was designed to help “fill in the gaps” for emergency agencies across the county, said Land.

Since its inception the foundation has funneled nearly $175,000 to local emergency service providers to pay for new equipment and training, said Land.

The foundation also contributed $25,000 for a paramedic scholarship at Treasure Valley Community College.

During the past five years, said Land, the foundation provided funds for local emergency departments to buy heart monitors, extrication tools, CPR dummies, pulse oximeters and sponsored training activities.

“We just bought extrication equipment for Adrian. We are just trying to grow and keep giving it to those agencies who have a need,” said Land.

Funding for emergency service agencies across the valley is tight while at the same time costs – for fuel or fees, such as 911 dispatch services – continue to climb.

A new ventilator, said Land, costs $15,000.

“Our costs have tripled in the last five years,” said Land.

The agency responds to about 4,000 emergency calls a year, said Land.

“The foundation allows us to help other agencies,” said Land.

For more information on the tax-deductible donation, contact Land at 208-741-0458.

News tip? Contact Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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