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Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad faces budget deficit

7:39 PM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad members trained at Pull-A-Part over the weekend.

Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad faces a budget deficit for 2013.

It takes $1.5 million to provide the service each year; the organization is $300,000 short.

Members of KVERS are trained to rescue people in Knox County but to provide the best possible service, they need more funding.

KVERS responds to about 2,000 calls each year.

The program consists of all volunteers.

142 members work a total of 40,000 hours every year for free.

 "We currently are the only organization that is fully volunteer in Knox County in emergency services... People are out here because they want to do it," said Russ Frazier, KVERS chief.

KVERS is funded by the city, Knox County, United Way, and through donations.

"In a bad economy people are not as apt to donate money to a volunteer organization when they're having trouble making ends meet at home," Frazier said.

Knox County gives KVERS $142,000 every year, the cost of one rescue truck.

"Fuel has gone up tremendously over the years and our funding has kind of really remained the same and it needs to increase in order to try to help us through some of the tough times," KVERS Deputy Chief John Whited said.

According to Chief Frazier, they need two to three more rescue trucks and money for protective equipment.

"Each member needs their own personal protective equipment and that equipment is about $1,000 a member," Whited explained.

Volunteers pay for that protective equipment themselves.

If you would like to help, donations can be made on the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad's website.


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