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Ninilchik Emergency Services expands to new site

Posted: June 12, 2013 - 11:54am
Many involved in the process to secure funding for a new home for Ninilchik Emergency Services break ground on the project in a ceremony Saturday morning. From left are Konrad Jackson, assistant to Rep. Kurt Olson; Rep. Paul Seaton; Dr. Roy Boone, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member; Mike Chihuly, fire chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services; Sen. Peter Micciche; Rep. Mike Chenault; Willard Bowman, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member; Gina Wiste, EMS chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services; and Steve Vanek, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member.  Photo provided
Photo provided
Many involved in the process to secure funding for a new home for Ninilchik Emergency Services break ground on the project in a ceremony Saturday morning. From left are Konrad Jackson, assistant to Rep. Kurt Olson; Rep. Paul Seaton; Dr. Roy Boone, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member; Mike Chihuly, fire chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services; Sen. Peter Micciche; Rep. Mike Chenault; Willard Bowman, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member; Gina Wiste, EMS chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services; and Steve Vanek, a Ninilchik Emergency Services board member.

With the ground finally thawing, Ninilchik Emergency Services held the official groundbreaking at the site for its new building Saturday.

“Thanks to our then legislators, Mike Chenault, Tom Wagoner and Kurt Olson, we obtained a legislative grant of $2.275 million to build a new building,” said Steve Vanek, NES president, of funding made possible by former legislators. 

While that made the building possible, purchase of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities land near the current NES site on Oil Well Road was made possible by an anonymous donation of $3,500. 

A bid process has selected G&S Construction Inc. as the contractor to do the building. Rob Robson of Sterling will be the project manager. 

A driveway already has been constructed by Traci Covey and a holding pond for storm water runoff, a
requirement of the Department of Environmental Conservation, has been added by Gary Jackinsky. A 297-foot well, which produces 60 gallons a minute of water, has been completed by Kraxberger Drilling.

“We hope to have the building done by December 2014,” said Vanek.

The need for the building has increased as NES has expanded its capabilities to provide coverage for the Sterling Highway, beaches, boats, Caribou Hills, grass fires, house fires and ambulance service.

“Consequently, we don’t have room to store this equipment,” said Vanek. “Our desire for many years was to have a larger building.”

Unlike other areas of the peninsula, NES is not part of a Kenai Peninsula Borough service area. 

“The Ninilchik Emergency Services belongs to all of us,” said Vanek.

The services are made possible by community support from American Legion Post 16, the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, the Kenai Peninsula Fair Association, Ninilchik Tribal Council, raffles of quilts made by Debra Henderson, The Buzz, the annual Memorial Day weekend pancake breakfast and all the donated services and items it receives, nonprofit organizations in Ninilchik and membership dues from those in the Ninilchik area.

Firefighters and emergency medical personnel are volunteers. NES has five EMT 3 level medics with advanced cardiac life support certification; one  EMT level 2 medic; 10 EMT level 1 medics; and five emergency trauma tech first responders, all with basic life support certification. Many of them are cross-trained as firefighters.

During 2012, NES made 146 runs, including 138 ambulance and 8 fire calls. Those included:

• Respiratory distress: 20;

• Chest pain-discomfort: 19;

• Traffic-transportation: 18;

• Diabetic problem: 18;

• Illness-injury: 14;

• Childbirth: 1;

• Other-miscellaneous: 48.

There also were 101 advanced life support requests and 37 basic life support requests; 113 patients were transported to Central Peninsula Hospital and 15 to South Peninsula Hospital; 10 patients refused care or transport. 

Additional volunteers are always welcomed.

“Not everyone desires to be an EMT or a firefighter and that is OK,” said Vanek. “NES is always looking for people interested in helping in other ways and to be considered support staff.”

For more information, contact NES at 907-567-3342.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

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