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Ambulance Drive On For Members, Funds
For the past 47 years, Escalon has supported its community ambulance service. Mike Pitassi is hoping the residents will come through for another year.

Escalon Community Ambulance is beginning its annual push for membership, with information going out soon regarding the drive. There is also a new ambulance due to arrive later this year, so funds are also being raised to help purchase needed equipment for the new rig.

Our ambulance is something we've had in the plans for the last two years," explained Pitassi, the ECA chief.

Delivery is anticipated in October and donations are being sought to purchase new equipment. As they have in the past, ECA will list the donors in scroll form on the side of the new rig.

"We want to purchase a hydraulic power lift gurney, for our crews who have always done it (lift) manually, this will save a few backs," Pitassi explained. "Also, we want to purchase the auto pulse, we've raised about $5,400 so far but still have another $10,000 to go."

The auto pulse machine is on loan to the local ambulance service as they test it out and Pitassi said it's a lifesaving piece of equipment he wants the ambulance service to have on board. It is a machine that aids in CPR, providing a much more regulated and stronger compression than humans, increasing the survival rate.

"We need about $28,000 this year to purchase those two pieces and we are asking the community, again, if they can one more time rally to our support," said Pitassi.

Donors will be listed on the red scroll for a donation of $100 to $499; the silver scroll is for those donating from $500 to $999 and the gold scroll is reserved for donors of $1,000 and above.

"We had really good support for that last year," Pitassi noted of the donation drive. "Several local businesses contributed, our members and just folks in the community."

The new ambulance is being purchased from Road Rescue of South Carolina and will be the second rig from that firm in use for Escalon.

"When it goes on line, it will be one of the first two units out," Pitassi said of putting the new ambulance in service quickly. "The third unit drops to non-emergency transports and event coverage."

The Escalon Community Ambulance Board recently approved the purchase and the order for the new rig has been sent in.

Among those voting in favor of the purchase was Pam Dyer, the newest member of the panel.

"I'm still getting my feet wet," she said. "I'm learning what the board does, the type of things they do and vote on, right now I'm going to sit back and do a lot of listening."

Dyer, who retired in 2004 after 35 years in law enforcement, spent 22 years as the administrative services supervisor in the Manteca Police Department. After enjoying retirement for a few years, she said she felt it was "time to give back" to the community.