TICONDEROGA - In an effort to keep the community updated, the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad has launched a website.
The site, located at www.ticonderogaemergencysquad.com, was developed by squad member Mark Barber and Mike Forand.
The site offers contact information, safety advice and a link to press releases about squad activities.
The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad is in the midst of a fundraising campaign for a new facility at the site of the former Ticonderoga Civic Center between The Portage and Lake Champlain Avenue.
The land was sold to the squad by the town for $1, which conditions.
The squad must have the money for a new facility in hand in two years and construction must be complete in another two years or the land reverts back to town ownership.
The squad now has $125,749.82 in its building account, according to Treasurer Marie Moore.
To kick-off fundraising efforts, the squad raffled a 2005 Honda Shadow VLX 600 motorcycle.
Sue Johnson, squad secretary, recently ran the Adirondack Half Marathon in Schroon Lake to raise money for the Ti Emergency Squad's building fund. She finished in 3 hours, 3 minutes and raised $1,579.
Squad members have also held coin drops. Other fundraising events are also being planned.
Donations, though, will not cover the cost of the new building. The squad has applied to a federal program for grant money to match local donations.
The actual cost and design of a new ambulance building is yet to be determined, according to Dennis Johnson, squad president. Squad officials have had informal talks with architects and contractors, but there is no exact plan.
Johnson said he hopes to model the Ti building after the Bristol, Vt., emergency services headquarters. That is a 3,000 square feet building with four garage bays, a meeting room, offices and sleeping quarters.
The squad has been in the same location, behind the Community Building, since 1963.
The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad receives no taxpayer funding from Ticonderoga, Johnson pointed out. It does get $5,500 a year from Putnam, he said. The former village of Ticonderoga used to fund the squad.
The squad funds its services through donations, fundraising events and by billing insurance companies of the people it transports.
In 2008 the squad had a budget of $124,000.
When the unit formed following World War II, patients were picked up in an old hearse donated by a local funeral home.
Today, the Ti Emergency Squad has state-of-the-art ambulances, equipment and training. In fact, the Ti squad is the only North Country unit with a "thumper," an auto-pulse cardiopulmonary resuscitation device.
It's roster has more than 50 members, including 28 emergency medical technicians.
In 2008 the squad responded to 595 calls - nearly two a day.