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Four ways Gold Cross Ambulance gives back

Gold Cross Ambulance Service, Inc. is the primary provider of emergency 911 response to a population of 280,000 within the Fox Valley. The nonprofit organization is owned equally by the four area hospitals; Ascension NE Wisconsin – St. Elizabeth Campus – Appleton, ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Appleton, ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Neenah and Ascension NE Wisconsin – Mercy Campus – Oshkosh.

By Steve Radich, administrative director, Gold Cross Ambulance

Gold Cross Ambulance is committed to providing the best emergency medical services to all who live in our neighborhoods and communities.  For the sake of our patients we are always striving to be on the cutting edge of technology related to the care we provide.

Gold Cross donates an AED to the Boys and Girls Brigade in Neenah

Our Gold Cross Ambulance Board of Directors has encouraged us to reach out to the communities we serve and enhance the quality of life for all the citizens in our response area.

We’ve always had the philosophy that we should give back to the communities that have supported us since becoming jointly owned in 1991 by ThedaCare and Ascension health systems.

That’s why we’ve established four different funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region:

  • Gold Cross Ambulance HeartStart Fund
  • Gold Cross Ambulance Community Fund
  • Gold Cross Ambulance Scholarship Fund
  • Fox Valley Critical Incident Stress Management Fund

Each charitable fund is unique, and impacts the way we give back to the Fox Valley. Here’s what each fund does:

Gold Cross Ambulance HeartStart Fund

This was our first charitable fund, established in 1998.

Heart attack is the leading cause of death in the Fox Valley and in the United States. AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, save lives.

Gold Cross paramedics receiving a donation for the HeartStart Fund from the Fox Cities Marathon

HeartStart provides AEDs to municipalities of all sizes and to all kinds of organizations, as well as assists in placing AEDs in public locations in the Fox Valley. The HeartStart Foundation Fund, held and administered by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, helps pay for AEDs, which cost about $1,400 each.

Thanks to the HeartStart Foundation and community support, the Fox Cities has the most AEDs per capita in Wisconsin. Gold Cross has assisted in the placement of more than 300 AEDs in the Fox Valley and broader region.

Publicly accessible AEDs are in downtown Appleton, Neenah and Menasha, as well as in smaller municipalities in the region, and scores more are used by law enforcement and other emergency responders.

Winner of our HeartStart coffee sleeve contest

We also provide matching funds to organizations who want to purchase and place AEDs, and train community members and local businesses in CPR and AED use. To apply for an AED matching grant for your organization, click here. We have one fundraising event each year, that being the Gold Cross HeartStart Charitable Golf Outing.

One of our HeartStart initiatives to combat sudden cardiac arrest has been the implementation of our PulsePoint Respond program.

PulsePoint Respond allows us to take the resuscitation concept to the next level by empowering everyday citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Mobile phone app users who have indicated they are trained in CPR and willing to assist in case of an emergency can now be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency. The application directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The PulsePoint Respond program is coordinated through our Gold Cross Ambulance Dispatch Center.

Gold Cross Ambulance Community Fund

This fund was established in 2013 to support and reward select community members who have contributed and enhanced the quality of life for the citizens of the Fox Cities area.  We feel it is our obligation to recognize the organizations who are having a positive impact on the communities we serve.  We feel privileged to be able to give back.

Gold Cross Ambulance Scholarship Fund

Steve Gerbers

We established this fund in 2013 to honor the memory of Steven E. Gerbers to financially assist students interested in pursuing a profession as a paramedic.  Steve started his employment with Gold Cross Ambulance Service as a paramedic in August 1979. During his 29 years of service he was promoted to paramedic supervisor and then to the communications supervisor.  Steve passed away in December 2008 while still employed at Gold Cross Ambulance Service.

Steve, or “Gerbs” as his co-workers referred to him, truly enjoyed helping people in their time of need. He felt being a paramedic was an extremely gratifying profession. Read more about this scholarship.

Fox Valley Critical Incident Stress Management Fund

This fund supports a program for those in Outagamie, Calumet, Winnebago and Waupaca counties who have experienced a traumatic event such as a line of duty death, the sudden death or injury of a child, a prolonged or difficult rescue, a hostage situation, a mass casualty incident or other trauma. Support is offered by trained law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMTs, paramedics and first responders who have experienced similar emergency situations themselves.  Been there, done that.

The program is available, free of charge, to police officers, fire fighters, EMS personnel including first responders, dispatchers, coroners and emergency government personnel. Only those personnel who responded to “the incident” are eligible to attend the debriefing.  The discussions are confidential.  It is not open to the general public or the media.

Interested in starting your own fund to enrich your community? We have a variety of flexible fund options. Check them out here.

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