Ambulance to the Rescue
Southern Boone County's former fire chief, John Thomas, will never see Ashland's new ambulance. He died of cancer last year, but the community says it's Thomas' hard work that will help save lives in the future.
"This was one of his goals and one of his wishes," said Jim Saylor of the board of directors. "He knew that by placing an ambulance in southern Boone County, it would reduce suffering for patients and also save lives."
"He's been working on this for years and it's something, that just before he passed away it finally came together," said southern Boone County Fire Chief Roger Jaeger.
Now the community is getting together to raise money to show respect for Thomas and see his goal completed.
"This is something that John's always dreamed of and we're here to support it," said Jo Hackman.
University Hospital has agreed to donate an ambulance to Ashland as long as it provides the building.
"We just need the money to finish the project," said Hackman.
The John Thomas Memorial Ambulance building will cost $150,000 to complete. The community has raised $30,000 and after the barbecue, the board of directors said they hope to have raised around 50 or 60 thousand dollars, which will allow them to start building.
University Hospital in Columbia sent an ambulance to southern Boone County about 400 times last year. Residents say they need their own ambulance to cut response time when seconds count.
"In the long run it's going to be great for the citizens because they're going to have better service to the community for life-threatening situations," said Tom Redford a volunteer firefighter.
Life-threatening sitauations that can be helped all because of Thomas' hard work. The groundbreaking for the new ambulance building is scheduled for May 8. The board of directors said it hopes to have the ambulance up and running by mid-June.
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