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Well, it's happened again. Despite Indian Land residents now having a different ZIP code than our counterparts across the creek, Fort Mill's Rescue Squad is still hitting us up for donations.
And it's no wonder Lanny Bernard, director of Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services, is seeing red over the issue.
Bernard has repeatedly asked Mark Garrick, captain of Fort Mill's Rescue Squad, to stop soliciting from Indian Land residents, whom Fort Mill's squad do not serve, except as a rarely used backup.
Indian Land Rescue Squad's 22 volunteers, led by Kathy Surratt, cover the entire Panhandle, serving the Pleasant Valley, Indian Land and Charlotte Road/Van Wyck fire districts.
Over the past 14 years, since Indian Land got its own rescue squad, Fort Mill's excuse for soliciting here has always been that the shared 29715 ZIP code made it difficult to sort out who lived where.
But when Indian Land's new 29707 ZIP code went into effect last summer, that should have eliminated the problem and that particular excuse.
Not so, since some Indian Land residents received letters earlier this year from the Fort Mill squad offering free family portraits in exchange for donations.
Garrick says the problem with the recent fundraiser lies with the firm the Fort Mill squad used to send out the roughly 24,000 letters, Community Support Services of Goldsboro, N.C. Garrick says he told the firm about the new ZIP code and explicitly asked them not to send letters to anyone with the new ZIP code. But the firm used its old database.
When the Fort Mill squad did its own mailings for one of its two annual fundraisers last year, Garrick said it waited until after the new ZIP code went into effect and he heard no complaints about that one.
Garrick says the concern over the recent letters is a "big deal about nothing," since he believes only a small percentage of them went to Indian Land residents.
"We don't intend to, nor do we want to do fund-raisers in this area, because it's not our primary support area," Garrick said.
Community Support Services has offered to refund any donations made by Indian Land residents, who should call (800) 253-2638 to ask for their refunds.
Indian Land Rescue Squad is gearing up to send out its own fundraising letters this month. But if you want to go ahead and make a donation now, send it to Indian Land Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 601, Fort Mill, S.C. 29716.
We hope Fort Mill Rescue Squad gets it right next time, because the money donated by Indian Land residents to fund their local rescue squad should go to their local squad - Indian Land Rescue Squad.