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Ski Patrol receive finance for new Ambulance at Mount Hotham

Ski Patrol receive finance for new Ambulance at Mount Hotham

Mount Hotham Ski Patrol recently received grant funding to help purchase a new ambulance for use at Mount Hotham during the winter season.

A total of $120,000 was raised with Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) contributing $80,000 of a 2 for 1 grant funding arrangement and the Ski Patrol raising funds of up to $40,000. The new vehicle purchased is equivalent to those used by Ambulance Victoria and has been decked out, sign painted and fitted to ski patrol purposes.

The Patrol has been active with their fundraising through sausage sizzles, raffle tickets and their “Big Gig” fundraiser event at The General, Hotham Heights. Last year at the “Big Gig” Volunteer Patrol raised $16,000 which significantly contributed to the new purchase.

Items donated by members of the Ski Patrol, including a handmade guitar and surfboard, were donated for the auction and sold for a generous price.

Full-time Mount Hotham Ski Patroller and Volunteer Ski Patrol Captain, David Wilson said that the hard efforts of the ski patrol volunteers and the support from everyone had been a big reason behind the successful fundraising.

 “Jim, who is one of our volunteer ski patrollers, crafted a handmade custom guitar which was sold at the fundraiser for a generous amount. The buyer was so impressed with the empathy and kindness they were shown as a family by ski patrol, when his daughter had an accident, that he kept putting his hand up during the bidding. He really wanted to donate,” Mr Wilson said.

“Randy, who is one of our long-term volunteer ski patrollers, made a surfboard for the fundraiser. One of our trainees bought his surfboard for way above market price. The trainee wanted to show his appreciation for the time Randy had spent training and getting him up to speed.

“People pay money just to support us, it’s not just about what they are getting from these fundraisers.”

In previous years, ski patrol has been using an older vehicle to transport passengers within the resort and Dinner Plain. Three years ago, they saw the need to upgrade the ambulance vehicle due to its decrepit state.

Mr Wilson said that the new vehicle would play a major role in the performance of the ski patrol and would be “much more reliable than the old one”.

“A big part of receiving the funds was a result of our fundraising event at the “Big Gig” which we hold every August and auction off a variety of goods,” Mr Wilson said.

“The new ambulance means a much better and more reliable vehicle to transport our passengers, it will be more economic for the Resort Management Board to service and look after, and much easier for patient transport due to more room and the greater accessibility.

“It will also give us the opportunity to look at fundraising throughout the summer period and we have a few ideas in mind.

“In general, if the Ambulance Victoria vehicle has to go off the hill for a critical emergency, we are the only ones on the hill to provide the ambulance transport to the medical centre within the resort,” he said.

This year’s “Big Gig” event will be held in the evening at The General on Saturday 12 August 2017.  

23 June 2017