On Wednesday, February 20, members of Willow Grove Charities, a local organization that raises funds to support both Second Alarmer’s Rescue Squad (SARS) and local families in need through programs such as the Greater Willow Grove Golf Open, will be presenting over $6,500 in funding to SARS in support the department's “Violent Trauma Supply” program.
Tragically, almost every day there is a report of a “violent event”, such as a school or workplace shooting, somewhere in the United States. While society tries to come to grips with these increasingly-frequent occurrences, much time is being devoted to looking for ways to deter, predict, and prevent such horrific acts from happening in the first place. While the members of SARS are hopeful these methods will be effective, they feel it is also necessary to prepare to respond and to treat the wounded when such incidents do occur.
Over the past 24 months, SARS has begun several initiatives in support of this preparation. One such program involves obtaining specific trauma supplies developed in recent years for the military and now being widely adopted for civilian use, as well as training SARS members and area responders in the use of these supplies.
Unfortunately, in today’s economy funding is tight for all projects, and SARS has had to look to outside funding sources for a lot of these initiatives. Recently, SARS Assistant Chief, Ken Davidson, made a presentation to the Willow Grove Charities board appealing for help with at least part of this project. Within minutes of hearing Davidson’s presentation, all members of the board unanimously voted to fully support Phase 1 of this project, which includes providing 26 “Push Packs” (2 per ambulance) and 4 “Mass Care Kits” (one for each supervisor vehicle) for SARS. The price tag for this portion of the project came to just over $6,500.
“Phase 1 is just the beginning” said Davidson, “This is a great start; all of our units will now be equipped with the minimum amount of supplies we feel are appropriate to begin treating multiple victims of a violent event until more help arrives.” Davidson, with the help of a few members of the Willow Grove Charities, is already planning for Phase 2, visiting local businesses and pursuing other avenues of funding to purchase additional supplies and equipment, as well as to fund specialized training for area responders.
“Ideally we would like to see these kits in every ambulance, police car, and fire truck in the region” said Davidson, “Similar programs, including one in Pima County, AZ (where the shooting of Senator Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others occurred) have been credited with saving numerous lives at such incidents.”
A formal presentation of the funding and supplies from Willow Grove Charities will take place at SARS headquarters (307 Davisville Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090) at 9:45 AM on Wednesday February 20.