PLATTSBURGH — Construction will begin soon on a new station for Champlain Emergency Medical Services.
The station will be built at the old Pole Lite Industries property on Route 11 in Champlain, west of McDonald's restaurant.
Champlain EMS Capt. Cory Thompson said the organization hopes construction on the roughly $500,000 building with begin in the next couple of weeks or so.
At the official launch of the fundraiser, the effort already had collected more than $2,000 — gathered in the previous week, mostly through brochures sent to area residents' homes.
"It's exciting to see our agency coming together and working toward this goal," Thompson said.
Jane West, secretary to the Champlain town supervisor, said that while the Town of Champlain and the Town of Mooers have contracts with Champlain EMS for the services they provide, the towns will not be contributing additional public funds other than what they budget each year.
'OUT OF SPACE'
Champlain EMS has grown significantly since it was founded more than 10 years ago, with the number of volunteer EMTs increasing to 42 and the number of calls responded to more than doubling to 837 last year.
The full-time paid staff has increased from two employees in 2003 to five, with eight per-diem staff members.
Since the organization was established, Champlain EMS has rented space in the Champlain Volunteer Fire Department station on Elm Street.
"We're completely out of space down here," Thompson said. "Right now, I store a lot of things at my house."
The new building will have room for all three ambulances to be parked in the same place. There will be room for a full office, which will be a big upgrade from the small space the agency has now in the firehouse.
Storage will be consolidated from the various locations that now house materials, something that will increase security, Thompson said.