A helping hand

Steven Schneiderman, Coos Rotary Foundation member, stands with Fire Chief Jerry Wharton of the Hauser Rural Fire Protection District. The Coos Rotary Foundation awarded a $2,000 grant to the protection district's ongoing campaign to raise funds to repair and maintain its Dune Rescue ambulance vans.

HAUSER ─ The Hauser Rural Fire Protection District has raised over $5,000 for its ambulance vans.

Earlier this year, the protection district asked the community for donations to help keep the ambulance vans for its Dune Rescue Program running. With a grant from the Coos Rotary Foundation last week, Hauser Rural Fire Protection District’s fire chief, Jerry Wharton, said “this will put us a little bit above breakeven.”

“We’re glad to get all the money we can,” Wharton said.

The district’s vans are used on the dunes for medical and emergency services, covering everything from the North Spit down to Ten Mile Creek. As previously reported, the Dune Rescue Program is not covered with tax dollars but rather through donations or grants. Though donations so far will cover maintenance for two of its vans, which are several years old, to replace just one may cost anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000.

“…Everything on them is custom,” Wharton explained. “The sand takes a beating on them and they do require a lot of maintenance, (though) we are looking at replacing them through grants.”

Steven Schneiderman, a Coos Rotary Foundation member, said that the protection district applied for the $2,000 grant which was awarded last week.

“This is for their much-needed upkeep and restocking of the dunes’ rescue vehicle,” Schneiderman said. “Our foundation realizes the importance for such rescue equipment in our area and it was a no-brainer to give that grant out to them.”

For Wharton, he said that any donation supports the Dune Rescue Program.

“We’re glad to get all the money we can,” he said.

One of the volunteers for the protection district, Krystal Hopper, said Dr. Aaron Coyner from Southwestern Oregon Community College was the grant writer for the project.

“(The community) now knowing how the funding works has been a big thing,” Hopper said. “The more we educate the community, the more they realize how important it is to have this service available.”

Donations can be sent to the Hauser Rural Fire Protection District “for Dunes Equipment/Training” at 93622 Viking Lane in North Bend.

For more information, email Hopper at 1krysade@gmail.com or call her at 541-294-5185.


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