ELY, MN– EMTs in Northern Minnesota are asking for your help.
The Ely area ambulance service is a non-profit organization.
Problems with their facility are making it harder for them to respond to those in need.
The service runs out of a garage built in the 1970s.
“My office leaks due to a floor drain freezing annually when it gets really cold and we have a leaking roof at times and foundation issues,” Geoffrey Galaski, Executive Director of the Ely Area Ambulance Service said.
Galaski and his 24 member staff are the only ambulance service in the Ely area.
They cover more than 1,500 square miles, so they’re concerned about response times.
Making it more of a challenge they have to rent a home for on-duty staff, 6 blocks from the garage.
“Being six blocks away from the building here increases the response time especially in the wintertime so it adds a few minutes of lag time sometimes that can be the difference between life and death,” Melissa Schroeter, an EMT said.
The non-profit only gets about $27,000 a year from tax funding and grants are hard to come by.
So now they’re turning to the community to help build a new facility.
“We are trying to get awareness out there and raise money from donations as we in conjunction seek grants,” Galaski said.
The new facility will cost roughly $900,000.
It will feature a larger garage with more space, a training facility, and a big perk that will help response times.
“Also we will have a live-in facility with a kitchen and bedroom for the crew so our response time is going to be like a full-time fire department we can be out the door in under a minute hopefully,” Galaski said.
They only started fundraising recently and so far have raised $2,000.
If you would like to donate to the cause you can find more info here.