December 24, 2016 07:50 PM
(ABC 6 News)--A local volunteer EMT crew has been awarded for their innovation and thinking outside the box. They are one of 20 local government groups recognized in the state by the University of Minnesota and the Bush Foundation. It's called the Local Government Innovation Award. The Eyota Volunteer Ambulance was in the top five programs to receive this award in their category.
"What we did was really unique and worthy of someone saying, gosh that a boy, good job," says Christopher Arendt, the Director of Operations for the Eyota Volunteer Ambulance.
Chris is talking about the newer and bigger facility, but it wasn't easy-- very time consuming to get to the point of receiving the Local Government Innovation Award. After getting local townships to work together and find a way to fund this program, everything started to fall into place.
"After the bank was willing to do this then we had to find a way to essentially build it for next to nothing. So we were able to find a construction management firm that was able to do this. In doing so we found a way to reduce the cost."
The crew committed to over $100,000 worth of labor themselves to help cut costs in the construction of their new building.
"We work very well as a team and I think that's the reason why I stayed on so long is because of all the team members that I have. It feels like home, so it's like a home away from home," says seven year volunteer, Teresa Bierbaum.
One unique addition to their new space is places for them to sleep.
"I have ambulance crew that stay there every day that can provide rapid service, far better service than we could before. We can train in an amazing space. We've expanded our training tremendously, we've pushed the envelope of what we as rural ambulance service can do and we've set the bar higher," says Arendt.
Eyota volunteer ambulance has 25 volunteers, which continue to grow. They also operate on a $58,000 budget each year.
Updated: December 24, 2016 07:50 PM
Created: December 24, 2016 07:49 PM
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