EMT Megan Williams and Paramedic Jason Downing hold a set of aluminum crutches, the first donation to the Wiscasset Ambulance Service’s Durable Medical Equipment Loan Program. PHIL DI VECE/Wiscasset Newspaper
Wiscasset, Westport Island and Edgecomb residents in temporary need of medical equipment like crutches, wheelchairs, or steerable knee scooters may soon be able to borrow them from the Wiscasset Ambulance Service. Wiscasset EMS Director Toby Martin announced the new program Feb. 21. Selectmen supported the program.
“We’re calling it our Durable Medical Equipment Loan Program,” Martin said Feb. 23 when he accepted the first donation, a set of adjustable aluminum crutches.
“We’re not asking for a penny of taxpayer dollars, only donations of medical equipment,” Martin told the Wiscasset Newspaper. “Our intention is to loan out these items for free to any resident who is in need.”
Martin offered a similar service as rescue chief in Turner. It was successful there, he said. We’re hoping that will be the case here … as well, but it really depends on how much and what kinds of medical equipment are donated.”
Besides crutches, wheelchairs and hospital beds, Martin said he’s looking for donations of walkers, commodes, walking boots and other items. All donations will be inspected for safety and sanitized before being added to the program.
People wanting to borrow an item will need to sign a waiver form and an agreement to bring the item back when they no longer need it. Martin added the ambulance service will offer training to use the equipment.
For now, the donated items will be stored in the ambulance department at the municipal building.
“Eventually we may need to find another location depending on what kinds of items we receive and how much. For now, we really want to get the word out donations of medical equipment are needed if this program is to succeed,” Martin added.
To donate equipment, call the ambulance service at 882-8204 or email Martin at email@example.com. Items must be in good condition, have all their working parts and should be clean. The new program comes less than a year after another one the department launched — for people to subscribe to the service for an annual fee. Subscribers aren’t billed for the co-pay or other charges their health insurance doesn’t cover. That program is also offered to Wiscasset, Westport Island and Edgecomb residents.