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County commissioners donate surplus ambulance to OTC

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County commissioners donate surplus ambulance to OTC

Pictured at the exchange of keys of the donated EMS unit are, left to right, Beth Mathews, Lee Eckles, Roy Thompson, Tyler Thompson, Karen Grabenstein, Jimmy Walker, Garrett Nevil, Matt Poteet and Dr. Jessie Strickland.

    Bulloch County commissioners recently donated a surplus ambulance from the county’s Emergency Medical Service to Ogeechee Technical College for use in the college’s Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic training programs.
    The ambulance, while in generally good condition, has high mileage and is beyond the point of being useful for emergency situations.  As a training unit, however, the vehicle will prove very serviceable, said Karen Grabenstein, EMS program chair at OTC. The 2000 Ford McCoy-Miller ambulance will be outfitted with equipment as if it were in use as an emergency unit, and will be utilized to train students at Ogeechee Tech prior to their clinical rotations at EMS agencies, which are approved clinical sites for the college.
    Dr. Jessie Strickland, vice president for Academic Affairs at Ogeechee Tech was grateful for the donation,
    “This is a wonderful gift that will allow our instructors to more effectively provide training to our students,” she said.. “Hands-on training is such an important aspect of what we do at Ogeechee Tech, and this ambulance will allow our EMS students to have an even greater level of first-hand experience prior to exiting the program.”  
    The ambulance was donated through the Ogeechee Tech Foundation, Inc.   
    “While monetary contributions are always welcome, this in-kind donation will serve a valuable purpose for our students as well,” said Beth Mathews, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “We are very appreciative to the county for making this training vehicle available to us.”
    EMS director Lee Eckles was happy to help the college.
    “Ogeechee Tech produces a great product,” he said. “We are very careful about who we hire to work at Bulloch County EMS, and we hire OTC graduates, so that speaks well of the program there. Anything we can do to facilitate the instruction we are happy to do.”  
    Eckles gave credit to county commissioners and particularly Roy Thompson, who spearheaded the effort to donate the surplus unit to Ogeechee Tech.
For more information about Ogeechee Tech’s EMS programs, visit
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