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