5K Challenge to help pay for ambulance

Cayman Heart Fund chairman David Dinner, left, and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson unveil the logo for this year's Deputy Governor's 5K challenge.

Money raised in this year’s Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge will go toward the Cayman Heart Fund’s efforts to buy a new ambulance.

The third annual event invites the public to walk or run 5K (3.1 miles) to help raise money for charitable projects.

Last year, more than 1,200 people participated in the walk/run and raised $50,000 to help send Cayman Islands Special Olympics athletes to the games in Los Angeles.

“The goal for this year is again to raise $50,000 and I’m confident that we can do it,” Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said at a press conference Thursday.

The Cayman Heart Fund began raising money last year to buy a new back-up ambulance to add to the Emergency Medical Service’s fleet. The organization has raised $50,000 of the $150,000 required to buy the vehicle and hopes to be able make the purchase by Christmas.

“The Cayman Heart Fund’s goal is to reduce the instance and impact of cardiovascular disease on the people of the Cayman Islands, and obviously, having a modern fleet of ambulances is an important part of meeting that goal,” Cayman Heart Fund chairman David Dinner said at the press conference.

According to Mr. Dinner, research has shown that patients with chest pain symptoms who call an ambulance receive “quicker and more appropriate treatments” and have a better survival rate.

The Health Services Authority has three primary care ambulances in its fleet, and two that are used as back-up. The new ambulance will replace one of the back-up ambulances.

“Building our fleet capacity is so essential,” said Stephen Duval, Emergency Medical Services Unit manager. “I’ve mentioned before that our staff is our greatest asset, but our vehicles are just as important, and just having a fleet of vehicles that are robust, that are dependable so that we can respond and mitigate against emergencies is what any EMS service would strive for.”

Last year, more than 5,000 ambulance calls were made in the Cayman Islands.

By donating the ambulance, Mr. Dinner said, the Health Services Authority will be able to redirect some of its budget to other vital health services for the people of Cayman.

The money raised by the 5K Challenge comes from a combination of corporate sponsorship pledges and registration fees. Cost for those age 14 and older is $25; for kids under 13, it is $10.

EY, Butterfield Bank and Appleby Global have already each pledged $5,000 as gold sponsors. There is still another gold sponsor slot left, as well as some silver sponsor slots and an unlimited number of bronze sponsor slots, organizers said.

Also this year, there is a new opportunity for a company to come on board as a platinum sponsor, with a donation of $15,000. The platinum sponsor will be granted “maximum exposure in all advertising and promotion of the event,” according to a government press release.

The Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge starts at 6:30 a.m. on April 17, in Cayman Brac, and at 6:30 a.m. on April 24 in Grand Cayman. The Brac event will start at the Cayman Brac Museum, Stake Bay, and the Grand Cayman 5K will start at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue.

Companies interested in sponsoring the Challenge, or anyone interested in making a donation, can contact Nancy Barnard at [email protected]