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Moneta Rescue Squad needs major renovation to improve safety issues

By Tim Saunders, tsaunders@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 04:45:06 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 10:48:48 PM EDT

Rescue squads take care of us when we have a medical emergency, but who do those first responders turn to when they need help?

MONETA, Va. -

Every time the garage doors open, Moneta Rescue Squad members say they're cutting it close. The ambulance bays are too small for modern vehicles.

"We have just a few inches on either side and, if we're not careful, we'll tear the mirrors off," said John Singer, captain of the rescue squad.
Drivers have to go slow when they enter and exit. In a business where every second counts, volunteers say a lot of time is wasted.

"We work hard doing the volunteer part," said Greg Greenstein, a squad volunteer. "We don't need to work hard when we come back to the base."

The building itself has no insulation. The garage has no heat or air conditioning, which makes it harder to maintain important medical equipment.

"I can't expect our members to come up here and stay and be available, when you have a facility that's as dated as the building is at this time," said Singer.

Squad leaders are hoping to improve the building. They've drawn up plans to expand and modernize the entire structure including new doors, windows and floors.

New living quarters will give volunteers a place to sleep. A new wing will be built with larger ambulance bays.

It's an ambitious plan with a big price tag: $500,000. The sum is enormous for a small agency to raise, but volunteers are confident the community will come through.

"If you look at our sign, it's in a state of disrepair and the only thing missing is the letter 'u," said Greenstein, pointing to a marque on the front of the building.

He says the missing letter is symbolic of what's needed from the community.

"We need some help to make this come true and enable us to serve the public better," Greenstein said.

The renovation is needed to help the rescue squad meet federal guidelines. The current building can't accommodate people with disabilities.

Because the garage has no air conditioning, some drugs and medicines can't be stored in the ambulances. Those items have to refrigerated inside the building, which slows down the response time even more during an emergency.

More than $100,000 of the $500,000 goal has already been raised. Click here to visit the rescue squad's website.

To donate to the rescue squad, click here.