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Repurposed Ambulance Promotes Literacy as Pirate Ship

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Ambulance Recycling
It’s a little-known fact that the specially designed slide-out trays on Rural/Metro Corp. ambulances are perfect for displaying and distributing books. But for one repurposed ambulance, that’s the idea.

In 2007, Rural/Metro donated a decommissioned ambulance to the Encinitas, Calif., chapter of the Kiwanis Club, which turned the vehicle into The Good Ship Literacy—a bookmobile disguised as a pirate ship that travels to schools throughout San Diego County. At the helm is Captain Book, also known as Kiwanis member Morris Pike, always adorned in pirate gear.

“It was a unique request,” said Matt Gilligan, Rural/Metro operations manager, in a press release. “However, we had the semi-retired vehicle available, and we thought it would be worthwhile to support this cause.”

The chapter completely owns the vehicle and has painted it with nautical and pirate décor. The rig has already “sailed” 250,000 miles (in addition to the 100,000 miles already driven as an ambulance) while delivering more than 70,000 books.

We give a big thumbs up to Rural/Metro for believing in the second life of this ambulance and helping spread literacy and joy to thousands of children. We hope this encourages ambulance services and other EMS agencies to create innovative new ways to recycle their decommissioned ambulances in the future.

K-9 First Aid
The people with MedStar Health believe the health of those who risk their lives for public health and safety should be taken seriously—even if that life belongs to a dog. That’s why the company partnered with the Fort Worth (Texas) Police Department (PD) to provide first aid kits specially designed for the K-9 unit.

“Fort Worth PD’s K-9 units provide a vital service to our community, and we recognize the unique need these officers have if they become injured,” said Macara Trusty, clinical manager at MedStar, in a prepared statement. “We are honored to donate these specialized first aid kits to these worthy members of our emergency service family.”

According to a press release, MedStar is donating 11 of the first aid kits—one for every K-9 officer in the department. Company officials will also monitor and restock the kits as necessary to assure the highest state of readiness in the event the kits are needed in an emergency.

Kudos to MedStar for ensuring the health of K-9 units in case of a serious medical emergency. We love seeing EMS and law enforcement work together.

Super Student
Just three days after graduating from EMT training in May, Catheryne Gerber got to put her skills to good use a bit sooner than she probably expected. While at a local softball game, she helped save the life of a man having a sudden cardiac arrest.

“There was a lady running around asking for a doctor or nurse, EMT,” Gerber told the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh crap!’”

When no one else volunteered to help, Gerber followed the woman to the patient. The Tribune-Eagle article says she immediately recognized the signs of a major heart attack and gave directions to bystanders before opening the victim’s airway and administering CPR with the assistance of one of the patient’s friends.

Gerber’s quick actions led to the patient’s full recovery in two weeks, with no lingering effects. We congratulate Gerber for her terrific skills and confidence in the field, all before going on her first official call.

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