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Community heroes Back the Build of a new County hospital

Volunteers with the Picton Firefighters Association stand with staff and volunteers of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation. – Briar Boyce photo

Picton Firefighters Association members were fanning the flames of community support Tuesday night.

At their association meeting, members presented the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation with a $3,000 gift to ‘Back the Build’ of the new County hospital. The association has had a proud 68-year tradition of serving, and giving back to the community.

“We’re proud and honoured to help our community by raising that money and then by donating it to help Back the Build. Firefighters are known traditionally for giving back to their communities so we’re keeping that tradition alive,” said Steve Everall, president of the Picton Firefighters Association.

The funds were raised through various activities undertaken by the association including hosting barbecues at community events such as the antique show and the drag races at Loch Sloy. Funds were also raised through the Christmas tree sales held each year at the fire department.

“While volunteer firefighters see what they do as simply answering a call, many of us describe them as heroes. They’re the ones who run into a burning building to help, or extract someone out of a vehicle after a collision,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Today, they are proving themselves to be heroes to our hospital by helping us get closer to our goal of a new hospital in Prince Edward County. We extend special thanks to all of the volunteers with the Picton Firefighters Association for going above and beyond to raise money to support the building of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital’s future home.”

Based on current projected timelines, the new hospital construction will be completed in early 2025. The PECMH Foundation is commissioned with raising the local share portion of the build, which works out to be $16.5M.

“We are grateful to our County residents for supporting our events year after year. We are stronger together, and together we can make a difference for the future of health care in our community,” said Everall. “We work hard to support our community as best we can on shift and off shift. Being a firefighter is more than a job; people say it’s a calling. We’re all part of it because we want to be able to give back however we can.

“We wouldn’t be able to give back so much if it weren’t for the love and support of our family members and spouses. They’re the ones who stand with us when our pagers go off and we leaving during the middle of dinner and they’re the ones who wake up with us in the middle of the night when we leave for a call. We are grateful for their support and understanding, too”

“Gifts from local groups, like the Picton Firefighters Association, speak to the importance of community involvement and the impact that it has on the quality of care for those residing and visiting our County and who use our hospital,” said Nancy Parks, campaign co-chair of the Back the Build. “We are so thankful for the Picton Firefighters’ support and interest in the future of our hospital.”

With state-of-the-art design and infrastructure, the new hospital will offer the same services as today in a better space. The emergency department will be equipped with the latest technology and staffed with our skilled and dedicated health care professionals. Inside its walls will be a suite of clinics to provide, among other medical services, endoscopy and dialysis treatment. And it will have 18 inpatient rooms that will be larger, each equipped with its own private washroom.

Established in 1952, the Picton Firefighters Association is a team of 33 volunteer members who donated roughly $6,000 in 2019 to the community. Their fundraising efforts benefit sports teams, children’s camps, Reaching for Rainbows and kid friendly activities such as the Picton Easter Egg Hunt and the Swim to Survive Water Safety Program.

The Association decides as a group where their donations will go. The Association also thanks Picton Home Hardware for its continuous support through donating prizes to their events.

“We’re in this to help the community,” Everall said, noting that sometimes, they have a lot of fun while they’re doing it.

 

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