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Lifesaving Equipment Now on Order, Thanks to Community’s Generosity

OAKHURST – At Sierra Ambulance’s office in Oakhurst on Thursday (Nov.21) four checks totaling $19,000 were presented by Cedar Valley, Ahwanhee, North Fork and Oakhurst Volunteer Fire Stations – bringing the total amount donated to $80,000, which Sierra Ambulance needed to raise in order to purchase an oxygen generator.

Ed Guzman with representatives from Cedar Valley, Ahwanhee, North Fork, and Oakhurst Volunteer Fire Stations (photos by Leonard Andrenacci)

Edward Guzman, general manager of Sierra Ambulance, said he’s been touched by the giving nature of the community.

“We are excited to have this new capability and for what it means to the most vulnerable among us,” Guzman said. “We are extremely grateful to the whole mountain community whose generosity made this possible.”

Fundraising efforts for this lifesaving equipment has been a long-term project.

In 2017, Sierra Ambulance received a $25,000 grant from the Chukchansi tribe, which they set aside for the oxygen generator.

This April, the Oakhurst Sierra Rotary – in partnership with the Elderberry House – raised and donated $15,000 toward the goal. Elderberry House owner, Dr. Bernard Rosenson, donated the venue, as well as food and wine at cost for the successful fundraising event.

The remaining $35,000 raised was contributed by “almost 200 individual donors giving amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000,” according to Guzman.

One such individual is High Fitness instructor Sarrah Hubble, of Coarsegold. In October, Hubble donated all proceeds from a fitness class to Sierra Ambulance. When asked why she chose this cause, she explained, “Paramedics hold a special place in my heart because they took great care of my dad during his rides to and from the hospital during his battle with cancer. They were there to show love to people they really didn’t even know. When I got Sierra Ambulance’s donation flyer in the mail it spoke to me!”

Hubble will be holding another fundraiser class on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Class will begin at 8:45 a.m. at Dancers Inc in the Coarsegold Hillside Supermarket Shopping Center on Yosemite Springs Parkway.

Any surplus funds will be used to purchase additional oxygen bottles and supplies for first responders.

“The vast majority of medical emergencies we respond to are cardiac, respiratory and stroke,” Guzman said. “That’s probably 75 percent of what we do and all of those receive supplemental oxygen.”

Guzman said the new equipment will make a big difference for the mountain community.
“The generator will allow us to produce an unlimited supply of medical grade oxygen to meet the needs of our ambulance and also the needs of all of our first responders,” he explained. “This important piece of equipment will free us from our current dependence on weekly oxygen deliveries from Fresno and will help us meet the emergency oxygen needs of our community in the event of a disaster or another extended power outage, which affects those on home oxygen machines.”
The oxygen generator is on order and set to arrive in December.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online