The Elkin Rescue Squad is better equipped with a new rescue truck thanks to fundraising efforts by a local radio station owner, said an official.
“This wouldn’t be made possible without the support of Gary York of WIFM. We are coming up on our sixth golf tournament. He donates the money to us. If it wasn’t for him, and other grants, we couldn’t get this,” said Eddie Bobbitt, assistant chief of the Elkin Rescue Squad.
“This is our new light rescue truck. It’s a 2013 Chevy, but it only has 215 miles on it, so that’s like brand new… We actually got it one week ago today,” said Bobbitt.
According to Bobbitt, the rescue truck averages about $85,000 new, but the Elkin Rescue Squad cost was near $70,000. “As an example, Yadkin County bought one just like it with a few exceptions and they paid $85,000 for it. It’s pretty much an identical truck,” he said.
Bobbitt said the rescue truck will be a multi-purpose use vehicle. “It will run on medical calls. It will run on water rescue calls. It can easily pull boats. One greater benefit is inclement weather. Our large rescue truck costs $300,000. So for us, if you are going to risk damage, you sort of want to stick with the less costly vehicle. The vehicle is a lot easier to maneuver, too. Some people don’t feel comfortable driving a big truck,” he said.
Bobbitt said getting the funds to buy the vehicle took a complete collaboration.
“We established a committee. Capt. Kevin Cheek, Tom Ratcliffe is one of our lieutenants, and Charlie Harris had some input. We sat together. Kevin wrote a grant to the North Carolina Department of Insurance. We got a 50/50 grant, which amounted to $25,000. The rest came together,” said Bobbitt.
According to Bobbitt, the great part of getting the new vehicle is that it’s 100 percent paid for. The next plan for the vehicle is upgrading it for installation of needed rescue equipment.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.