(Wind River Reservation, WY) – “Minutes matter in an emergency. Currently, ambulance service is 15 to 20 minutes, or more, away from the Ethete and Fort Washakie area,” according to the Wind River Reservation Emergency Services Fund (WRRESF).
The WRRESF aims to raise enough money to build an ambulance bay, crew quarters and maintain the facility for the current ambulance service provider.
Formed by a group of concerned citizens, the WRRESF is a nonprofit and is operated by a board of directors.
WRRESF Treasurer Ben Hines caught up with County 10 to discuss how this came to be.
Initially, several entities came together over six months ago, including community leaders, community members, commissioners, and council members, Ben shared. They were trying to figure out how to get an ambulance closer to the emergencies in the Fort Washakie and Ethete areas.
“I found out about it, and six years ago, our family bought a piece of property between Fort Washakie and Ethete, and we donated some of that land to the Fremont County Fire District. So I thought that would also be good for an ambulance bay and crew quarters. So I got involved with the committee. There was basically no money anybody had to do anything like that. So the idea of a nonprofit floated, and everybody thought it was a good idea. I volunteered to start it up.”
The land, which the Hines family is donating, and the building will remain in the possession of the WRRESF for use by whoever is the current area ambulance service provider.
It was also noted during our conversation that they have been waiting six years to get a right of way to their property.