PLYMOUTH – Thanks to the support of local nonprofits and individual donors, the Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance Corps has acquired two motorized stair chairs to assist mobility-impaired patients.
Bonnie Doughty-Jenkins, president of the Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ Board of Directors, said there was “always a need” for the chairs, which arrived Thursday of last week. They were acquired after receiving a $3,500 grant from the Edward W. & Audrey K. Mink Memorial Fund & The Bristol Brass General Grant Fund at the Main Street Community Foundation, a $1,000 grant from the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation and several donations following the death of Doughty-Jenkins’ husband, John Jenkins, on Jan. 30.
“He was pretty severely ill from Oct. of last year on; he had cancer and then was declared in remission but the chemotherapy attacked his kidneys,” Doughty-Jenkins said. “When he was sick, the Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance Corps were so kind and helpful. We wanted to do something to give back so we asked that any memorial donations be made to the Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance Corps in his memory.”
Doughty-Jenkins said the Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance Corps had to take her husband in and out of a raised ranch home, which was difficult with stairs. After his death, she wanted to make it easier for the EMTs when they were faced with similar situations. That is where the motorized stair chairs come in.
“It moves like the treads of a tank; people are just guiding it,” Doughty-Jenkins said. “The motor is moving it, not people’s muscles. The patients have a better feeling of safety, there is less wear and tear on the EMTs since there is no lifting and there’s absolutely no patient contact, which is a plus during this pandemic.”
The Plymouth Volunteer Ambulance corps is currently undergoing training with two motorized stair chairs. In addition, the grants and donations also were able to provide them with two spare batteries, two battery chargers and two “scoop stretchers” to help patients get into the chair.
“Originally we thought we could only purchase one chair, but our assistant chief talked to a different manufacturers and we were able to get both,” Doughty-Jenkins said. “Both of our ambulances will have them.”
Doughty-Jenkins gave a “huge thank you” the Edward W. & Audrey K. Mink Memorial Fund & The Bristol Brass General Grant Fund at the Main Street Community Foundation, Thomaston Savings Bank and those who donated in her husband’s memory.
“We wouldn’t have been able to purchase this equipment without your support,” she said. “Our organization is mostly self-supporting and we would have had to try to get it out of pocket.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.