- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FISHERSVILLE, Va. (AP) - Ken Nethken wanted to help after he heard about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Nethken thought an old ambulance he had could benefit people affected by the outbreak. The Fishersville resident went to Washington, D.C., last week and visited several embassies and government department buildings, intending to donate the ambulance. There were no takers, until he contacted the Liberian embassy, The News Leader (https://bit.ly/1pmWgTf) in Staunton reported.

“It was very impressive to see an ordinary person who wanted to do something and help protect humanity in this way,” Gabriel Williams, minister counselor of press for the Liberian embassy, told the newspaper. “I was really surprised that someone, a regular person, would just want to do this.”

The World Health Organization says it is has linked more than 3,000 deaths to the disease. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hit hardest. Senegal and Nigeria have also been touched, but have not reported a new case in weeks.

“He sees what’s happening,” Williams said of Nethken. “(The epidemic) is something that won’t be helped if efforts are not harnessed to deal with it,”

Nethken had been using the ambulance, which his brother bought 12 years ago, to transport supplies for his business, Nethken Associates in Fishersville. The ambulance has been driven 150,000 miles.

“This vehicle isn’t going to solve the problem, but it’ll help,” Nethken told the newspaper. “If it can move several hundred people, I think that’s a plus.”

Nethken took the ambulance the Liberian embassy on Friday after transferring the title to Paul Obaugh Ford in Staunton, which donated it.

He said the embassy will ship the ambulance, along with donated medical supplies, to Liberia, at an expected cost of up to $3,000,

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Information from: The News Leader, https://www.newsleader.com


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