Rescue Squad Raising Funds To Meet Federal Radio Regulations
By Mike Scott
Four hundred and twenty five days sounds like a long time, but it’s close enough that the Clark County Rescue Squad is paying attention. On that day, January 1, 2013, the radios used by the Rescue Squad become obsolete, as the Federal Communications Commission mandated use of narrow band radios will take effect.
Narrow band radios will operate on 12.5 kHz frequencies, instead of the current 25 kHz. In other words, there can be twice as many radio channels available in an increasing crowded radio spectrum
Clark County Rescue isn’t alone in this situation–most fire departments and law enforcement will be affected as well. The challenge for Clark County Rescue is that they are an independent organization–they do not receive any tax dollars or membership fees. Their entire operating expense comes from fundraising and donations.
“We’re the only organization that doesn’t charge a fee or get tax support,” said Rescue Squad member Randy Fish.
New radios will cost nearly $15,000, roughly the same as their current annual budget. The four truck-mounted radios will cost about $2900 each, and 6-10 pager units will run about $400 each.
Because of their independent status, the Rescue Squad has not been able to receive any grant to help defer the costs.
“Over the years, we’ve tried for grants, and we’re always turned down,” Fish said.
On Friday, November 11, the Rescue Squad will hold a fundraising dinner at the Clark County Senior Center, featuring their “famous” tenderloins, soup and dessert. They will accept a free-will donation for the meal. In December, (date to be determined) the Rescue Squad members will wait tables at Steve’s Family Dining, with tips received going to the Rescue Squad.
The Clark County Rescue Squad was founded in 1978, and currently has 16 active members. They respond to 50-60 motor vehicle accidents per year, and operate two fully equipped rescue trucks.
“We have all the tools to remove the vehicle from the patient,” said Irene Fish.
A third truck is set up as a search and rescue command post, and their fourth truck carries over 3000 watts of lights.
In addition to rescue calls, squad members serve as tornado spotters, set up landing zones for Air Evac helicopters, and often assist the Clark County Ambulance, serving as a driver when both paramedics are needed to take care of the patient.
“We are a 501c3 organization,”?said Fish. “There can be a tax advantage for outright donations, and we welocme them.
The Rescue Squad’s mailing address is P.O. Box 114, Kahoka, or anyone can contact Randy Fish at 660-754-6679 with questions .