Getting fired up

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thank you for being our friends.

That was the gist of a get-together Tuesday hosted by Patriot Ambulance Co. staff for residents and employees of three area nursing homes.

Folks from Bryant Health Center, Sunset Nursing Center in Coal Grove and Fountainhead Nursing Center in Franklin Furnace lined up to nosh hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill and all the trimmings in a cookout at the Ironton facility.

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The ambulance company and the nursing homes have had a lengthy relationship. The idea behind the picnic was to acknowledge that friendship.

“We see these people every day,” Patriot C.P.R. Instructor Krista Blankenship said. “We enjoy being with them and this is our way of showing them our appreciation. We know just about all of them by name and they’re like family to us. Some of our employees came on their day off to do this.”

Patriot even brought the entertainment with them: Alan Mullins and the Redneck Review and karaoke with Mobile D.J.

The effort was not lost on Robert Lowe, who sat on the Bryant Health Center back porch and watched the food being prepared.

“This is really nice,” he said. “It shows these people care about us. A lot of people, when you come in here, they forget about you, But they’re different. These people really care.”

Jane Brown, activities director for Sunset Nursing Center, said the idea of a cookout and a day away from home, so to speak, was exciting for staff and patients alike.

“We try to get them out once a week, and go some place,” she said. “We want to get out into the community.”

Patriot hosted a cookout for River’s Bend Health Center a couple of weeks ago. Other such picnics are planned for other rest homes later this summer.