I recently attended Mayor Terry Short’s community meeting, where we discussed a host of issues and it was a great night of conversation with other passionate, dedicated citizens.

One citizen brought up an issue I was previously unaware of and was shocked to learn. This person shared that she was a volunteer with the Waynesboro First Aid Crew for many years, a few years ago. She talked about how expensive paying professional staff, and buying and maintaining equipment is. They’ve seen an increase in calls and go out on calls with our city fire department because the fire department can’t transport patients.

She mentioned that since opening, the city financially supported the First Aid Crew and that a few years ago, the city decided they would no longer provide the usual $50,000 to the organization going forward. The Crew is a non-profit.

By law, cities have to provide basis emergency services. Waynesboro First Aid Crew used to run on a strong group of volunteers, providing life-saving services to our community. Over the years every organization that depends on volunteers has seen a dramatic drop in volunteer numbers, the First Aid Crew is no exception. They now have paid career staff, along with volunteers, handling the responsibilities of the Crew. They are always looking for more volunteers, please check out their website for more information. While you are there, read up on their history tab, it’s really fascinating!

Not only are many organizations facing a lack of volunteers, many are also facing financial hardship and again, our Crew is no exception. If they are unable to keep their doors open, our city will be faced with a very difficult situation, no emergency services. The city will then have to invest in some solution, when they could instead support the First Aid Crew now and avoid having to invest in new expensive equipment, hire staff, rent or buy a building; all of the things our current First Aid Crew has and is already doing. All they need is more financial support from our city and community.

I encourage our council and community as a whole to support our hard-working First Aid Crew.

Jennifer Lewis

Waynesboro

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