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BEECH MOUNTAIN — Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Chief and Town Manager Robert Pudney announced on Thursday, Sept. 23, the receipt of a $100,000 donation from the Mountain Ambulance and Healthcare Foundation. The funds are designated for the startup of a 24-hour Emergency Medical Services Station on Beech Mountain.

At the July council meeting, Beech Mountain Town Council voted to pursue the establishment of an EMS Station.

“The Town Council strongly believes that we need to provide top-notch emergency medical services for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Barry Kaufman. “We identified this need as one of our top five budget priorities this year. We are very thankful to Dr. Murray Miller and the foundation for help getting the project rolling.”

“I would like to say that this seed money for this lifesaving service is from all of you, our Beech Mountain residents, who have generously donated to the Foundation in the past,” Dr. Miller said.

The Foundation spearheaded the first joint EMS Station located at the base of Beech Mountain in 2001. The property for that station was donated by Lees-McRae College and the project was supported by a grant from the Duke Foundation.

“In just a few years, we’ve almost doubled the number of families that are full-time residents on the mountain, and we are experiencing record-breaking visitors year-round,” added Chief Pudney. “Last year we received 275 emergency calls, 153 were medically related. Our emergency services need to keep pace with this new growth.”

Records show that EMS response time to calls on Beech Mountain this past year have been increasing. In some cases, individuals have had to wait more than an hour for an ambulance. This delay could mean the difference between life and death in heart attack, stroke or head injuries. The town, residents and businesses on Beech Mountain are grateful to Dr. Miller and his leadership in helping address this critical issue.

For more information or questions, contact Pudney at (828) 387-4236.

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