Seconds Save Lives, a $10 million capital campaign to address a critical need for a new station for Gunnison Valley Health Paramedics, is successfully underway and gaining momentum. To support health services in the Gunnison Valley, the Weekley family recently issued a community challenge grant to match dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million all campaign donations and pledges received by December 31.
Campaign funding currently totals approximately $6 million, including leadership contributions from Gunnison County and Gunnison Valley Health, as well as donations from numerous individuals.
GVH Paramedics are not tax-funded like fire and police departments. For over 20 years, Gunnison Valley Health has subsidized the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
department. GVH operational funding and minimal insurance reimbursements are simply not enough to fund the capital expense of a new station.
Since 1998, GVH Paramedics have operated from a steel prefab modular shell designed for fewer and smaller ambulances, far less equipment and a small fraction of the current staff. The biggest problem with the current station is dangerously delayed response time to 911 calls because there are no sleeping quarters for after-hours responders.
A new station with sleeping quarters where all ambulances and apparatus can be properly garaged and stored will greatly improve patient response time to 911 calls – saving lives, while also improving patient safety, satisfaction rates and outcomes.
“A larger, updated station cannot be built soon enough. GVH Paramedics have experienced dramatically increased 911 call volume, more backcountry rescues and more critical care level interfacility transports (IFTs) to larger hospitals as far away as Denver,” said Jenny Birnie, Executive Director, Gunnison Valley Health Foundation. “It is easy to assume that paramedics are available to us 24/7. The reality is that rural EMS districts are increasingly vulnerable to scaling back, or, in some cases, even eliminating service. Donations are needed so we can sustain and improve the award-winning service of GVH Paramedics.”
The Gunnison Valley Health Foundation is an IRS designated nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. In addition, individuals who pay Colorado State Income Tax are eligible for an Enterprise Zone tax credit on their Colorado return. Donations of $100 or more earn a 25% tax credit.
For more information on the capital campaign and new station visit www.gunnisonvalleyhealth.org/savelives.