Chesterton Tribune



Porter Health Care donates decommissioned ambulance to County Search and Rescue

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When Porter Healthcare System's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) director Ann Brandl attended a recent Porter County Fire Association meeting, as she usually does, something caught her attention. A special team - Porter County Search & Rescue - was in dire need of a large vehicle to use during operations. Brandl just happened to have a decommissioned ambulance that needed to find a home.

After speaking with Porter Health Care System administration and working through all the proper paperwork, Porter EMS was able to donate the out-of-service ambulance to Porter County Search and Rescue, which will use it for a mobile command post and warming/cooling station for search and rescue teams.

"Porter County Search and Rescue researched best practices for setting up mobile command posts during operations, and learned that we really needed a large vehicle that had air conditioning, heat and power at minimum," said Micah Bell, director and co-founder of the not-for-profit search and rescue team. "We are so thankful for this donation and want to thank Porter EMS and Porter Health Care System for acknowledging the important work of the team and extending their healthcare arm to the community in this way."

Porter County Search and Rescue is an all-volunteer team of fire, EMS and emergency management professionals who assist local law enforcement with searches and rescues. In 2015 and 2016, the team was called to 26 incidents total - all ending successfully.

"We understand the work of our emergency responders is complex and particularly difficult when a person is missing or needing rescue. It's vital that our local organizations have the equipment they need to successfully carry out their missions, and we are pleased that circumstances in this case allowed us to assist," said Stephen Lunn, CEO of Porter Health Care System. "We rely heavily on special operations services provided by Porter County Search and Rescue, and it's important for them to have the equipment and support they need when we are facing a community crisis such as a missing individual. I commend Porter EMS and Porter Health Care System for acknowledging the needs of the search and rescue team, and responding with this donation to support them," said Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds.

Porter County Search and Rescue plans to outfit the rig with field equipment, computers, and seating to help act as a warming or cooling station for search professionals and victims when needed. Porter EMS is the ambulance service provider for Porter County, and has recently begun offering a new non-911 transport service.

For more information on Porter EMS, visit


Posted 2/3/2017




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