LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service gives back to the community nearly every day with their life-saving efforts, and they're asking for help to meet the final fundraising goal to complete the renovations at the ambulance headquarters.
"It's the final push," President Larry Brockway said.
The magic number left to go is $60,000, according to Judy Shea, the ambulance service's fundraising organizer. Around $400,000 has already been spent on renovations to upgrade the building. The Uihlein Foundation gave $90,000, when the effort began. Shea said several hotels led a matching fundraising effort. There was also a large initial response from different organizations and "very nice individuals" that donated a significant amount. And those donations have already paid off.
The new ambulance building on Dow Street (Photo — Matthew Turner)
"A lot more room was added. It's triple to quadruple the size," Brockway said. "The addition we put on was 5,000 square feet total."
Brockway said one of their goals was to have a community space that can hold meetings, community gatherings and training. In the fall, Hudson Valley, a medical training group, will teach a class there.
"That was one of our goals when we built the building, to be a regional EMS education center," he said. "Lately the business association of Lake Placid has held meetings up there, and Rotary Club has held meetings there."
The room on the second floor of the building can hold 100 people. That's already been happening.
The North Elba Town Council held its monthly meeting here in June to check out the work that's been done, and the Lake Placid village board plans to do the same for an upcoming meeting.
"We want to be more open to the public," he said.
The meeting room and the building are also large enough to double as an emergency shelter. There is a generator on site for that purpose.
Part time ER
The Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid has made the switch to a part-time emergency room on Monday. It will be open 15 hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. This could result in more work for the ambulance service transporting patients.
The ambulance service has 1,200 calls a year, and in past years that number was slightly higher at around 1,500, according to Brockway.
Left to go
"We still have four major steps to do," Shea said. "We have to do the demolition of the old garage and rebuild an entranceway. Two bathrooms will be built in the new entranceway area."
The former ambulance bay on Mill Pond Drive, once its torn down and rebuilt, will have a parking area and be the front entrance of the building. The new ambulance bay, now located on Dow Street, can fit four vehicles.
"It's one of the main safety improvements," Brockway said.
Another change yet to be made is to move the kitchen into a larger space. The men's bedroom will be moved upstairs into the old kitchen, which is much smaller. The building could be complete by next fall.
"We're extremely grateful for the different individuals who've donated," Shea said. "Many people here know how valuable we are here to the community."
Donations can be made to to LPVAS, P.O. Box 107, Lake Placid, NY 12946.