Non-profit EMS station accepting $20K donation needed in River Hills community
The River Hills Lake Wylie EMS station sits just on the edge of the River Hills community, but the station was not always there
LAKE WYLIE, S.C. (WBTV) - River Hills Lake Wylie EMS is one of the few EMS stations in York County not connected to Piedmont Medical Center.
The non-profit station relies on insurance money and donations to stay running.
The River Hills Lake Wylie EMS station sits just on the edge of the River Hills community, but the station was not always there. It was not created until a person had a heart attack playing golf and another had a stroke during a community meeting back in the 1970s.
“In both cases, unfortunately, the people passed away because the closest ambulance at that time was in Clover and that’s a good 20 to 30-minute ride,” says EMS Director Richard Mann.
The neighbors in River Hills, the largest community at the time, got together and decided something needed to be done. The idea for another EMS station in this area was born. It was not until the 1980s that the station opened and started operating. Mann says this EMS station has been helping the community ever since.
At first, the station started out as strictly volunteer no matter what position. But with the area growing, Mann says the calls have increased tenfold and so did the need. According to him, the station started going through insurance to pay for people to work there. However, the station still needed outside help from donations.
”We have one of the fastest-growing communities in the entire state which is the cause for our increased volume,” he says.
This station went from serving one community to serving all of York County and even dipping into Charlotte. So to afford everything they need—gear, equipment, gas, you name it—they mostly rely on the donations of people and organizations in the community. One of those organizations is The River Hills Lake Wylie Lions Club, which is donating $20,000 on Saturday to the station.
”If we didn’t get the donations from the Lion’s Club as well as the local community we could no longer operate,” he says.
Mann says even with the donations the station is just making it by. And to better help the community they need to replace the older ambulances. The older ambulances are not as good to use because of age and the newer ones would allow the station to better serve the community. He says if the state also requires certain medical devices to be inside the ambulances, the station would not be able to afford it.
“We have greater needs than just the donations,” he explains.
Mann says this station and all stations in the county are needed now more than ever. He says the COVID-19 pandemic showed that because so many people needed to be transported to the hospital. However, even still the need is great. He says York County should have more people and more ambulances, not just at River Hills Lake Wylie EMS, but all over the county.
”There aren’t enough ambulances to cover the calls. We go to what we can status two, status one, status zero all too often. What does that mean? It means we have no ambulances available,” he says.
So he is hoping for more donations while being grateful for the ones coming in now.
”It makes you really happy to know that they consider us to be a value to the community,” he says.
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