'Pink Lady' Donation Puts More Power Behind EMS Extrication Tools

Members of the Humboldt Hospital Auxiliary had to actually climb stairs to the top of a new vehicle in order to see what they donated to Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue.

Once they got there, they saw a metal box—a power unit—that didn’t look like much, but according to HGH EMS Rescue Chief Pat Songer, that metal box will mean a lot to rescue victims who need to be extricated from damaged vehicles and sent to higher care.

“Without this power unit,” said Chief Songer, “our cutters and other tools have to stop and start because the power from a typical truck—even a big one—isn’t constant enough to provide continuous output.”

That’s all changed, though, with the Auxiliary’s purchase of the Amkus 240SS Super Simo On-Board Power Unit for just over $43,000.

According to Chief Songer, the unit is four times faster than a conventional portable power unit. “There’s no waiting,” he said, “even when we hook up extra hoses to reach an extrication; we get maximum power in seconds.”

Not only that, but Songer said the on-board power unit can supply unlimited power to multiple tools working at the same time.

The unit is housed in a new state-of-the-art rescue truck that arrived in Winnemucca late last year.

The vehicle can access even the most remote locations, which is important considering that HGH EMS Rescue will respond with this truck to about 200 rescue calls each year over three counties and two states—a total of about 10,000 square miles.

“So you can imagine some of the places we go,” said Chief Songer.

He continued, “We are very grateful to the Auxiliary for this power unit and what it will mean in terms of getting people out of wreckage and into the care they need.”

Since 1967, the Humboldt Hospital Auxiliary, or “pink ladies,” have donated everything from small medical supplies to large capital items. In one instance, the group donated $100,000 toward the purchase of an HGH EMS Rescue Critical Care Transport Unit.

“Our purpose as an Auxiliary is to help support health services for the people who live in this area,” said Judy Adams, the organization’s president.

Adams said the Auxiliary’s sole monetary source is the Poke and Peek Thrift Store, which is able to profit through community members’ donations.

Volunteers also donate their time at Harmony Manor, the hospital’s long-term care facility, and in other areas of the hospital.

The Auxiliary sponsors three blood drives a year, and the organization has also had a significant role in the hospital’s AED program donating the first $25,000 to the program. Currently, there are approximately 250 AED units county-wide.

The group has also given more than 50 scholarships to nursing students—60 percent of whom have returned to Humboldt County to work.

“We are so pleased to have contributed to these and many other projects over the years,” said Adams.

She added, “We have no paid staff, so everything is run by volunteers. This is the reason we have been able to help out the community we love over the last nearly 50 years.”

Adams said the group was thrilled to donate the power unit to HGH EMS Rescue, which she said the Auxiliary sees as one more way to meet the health needs of residents in the Humboldt County area.

“We hope this will provide the power capability our extrication professionals need in order to rescue accident victims,” she said.