In the past few years the Royal Eccentric Dynamic Hatters, Maidstone’s Red Hat Society chapter, has raised $43,000 through their festival of trees.
The money is used to enhance the health and well-being of members of the region. This past year the group raised $14,000. To add to other comfort items they have bought for Pine Island Lodge in the past they purchased four black leather sit-stand electric recliner chairs for the common area.
They also bought the Maidstone EMS’ entire wish list.
“They had a list of ambulance equipment and we told them to get it all,” said Red Hatter Sharon Weston.
“We need ambulance equipment even more because we currently have no emergency services here,” said Red Hatter Queen Candy Ormiston.
Items purchased for the two ambulances included a stair chair for more easily manoeuvring patients on stairs.
“We now have one in each unit and we use them lots,” said EMT-A Karen Bullock as she showed off each new item and how it is used. She demonstrated how easy the new combi carrier works.
“The old scoop stretchers were metal and difficult to manoeuvre. The new combi carrier lever is easy to open and it is easy to take apart and put under a patient from both sides. It isn’t as cold or as heavy as metal. It can be used as a spine board and patients can be x-rayed on them,” said Bullock.
She showed off two new multi-system blood pressure cuffs adaptable from infant to large adult size and two new yellow spine boards. They wanted to get away from the wooden boards that had started to splinter and appreciate the rounded edges and new head blocks that are better for infection control than the old orange ones.
Other items purchased were a paediatric immobilization device, two Kendrick extrication devices to quickly protect the spine and safely move a patient and a fingertip pulse oximeter to check pulse and oxygen levels.
Bullock thanked the Red Hatters for buying the EMS’ wish list and was happy to show off all of the new items.
“We’re glad to see the money going to something useful,” said Ormiston even though she expressed a hope the items wouldn’t see much use.
The Red Hat Society is known for their desire to have fun but around Maidstone they are also known for their caring.