Sandy Lake has its own Ambulance

Ron Kyle arrived in Sandy Lake via the winter road on April 4th after driving the used ambulance 2,500 km from Toronto.

The 26-year veteran of the Toronto firefighter service returned to Sandy Lake on Monday, April 6th – this time to meet with Chief and Council to discuss and assess what other resources could benefit the community.Although the ambulance will not be used in the same capacity as an ambulance medically equipped with a paramedic and medical supplies, it will be serviceable to transport medical patients to the nursing station and to the airport for air ambulance services.

Patients requiring emergency transportation to the nursing station or to an air ambulance flight, have depended on a mini-van, Sandy Lake’s only means of medical transportation.

Having an ambulance that can fit two stretchers and equipped with heat and air-conditioning will mean a more practical and comfortable ride in emergency situations that deem imperative in a community with limited medical services and resources.

A recent article by the Toronto Star highlighted Sandy Lake’s newly aquired ambulance as well as the air ambulance services in the north. (Click here to view the articles on the Toronto Star website)

A trustee on the Board of Directors for Green Solutions Charitable Trust, Kyle was approached by the North-South Partnership for Children after Chief Adam Fiddler of Sandy Lake was introduced to the CEO of Green Solutions.

“They had mentioned they were donating used firetrucks to Ecuador”, said Chief Fiddler of his meeting with Green Solutions.

“I said, ‘Ecuador? We could use a firetruck in Sandy Lake’”.

As a result, Sandy Lake First Nation has been donated a used fire truck which will be delivered to the community once the truck is assessed.

Green Solutions is a charitable organization that has access to used and discarded medical, school, and sports equipment. And even though the equipment is used and no longer needed by its original owners, Kyle says they have years of service left in them.

The used equipment is usually delivered to third-world countries, but Kyle sees the importance of helping First Nation communities in Canada.

“It’s important to me because I’m used to helping third-world countries. But if you look around, we have third world countries in our own back yard”, said Kyle.

Kyle said he is now interested in matching available resources to the needs of communities like Sandy Lake.

Over the next year, Kyle will be visiting almost 30 First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario to assess their needs for equipment.

>> View accompanying photos.

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