Dear Residents of the Town of Caroline,
I urge you to read the following letter from Beth Harrington of Slaterville Volunteer Ambulance (SVA) and to share it with others in our community. Beth’s letter addresses significant volunteer challenges that the squad is facing and how they may impact our community in the not too distant future. The Caroline Town Council is actively working with SVA to successfully address these issues in the year ahead, but your help is essential. It is important to note that SVA does not face these challenges alone. In truth, volunteer shortages are being faced by Emergency Services providers, both fire and ambulance, all across America. The Town of Caroline is unique in that we have four volunteer service providers (3 fire companies and 1 ambulance service) within our borders. It is something of which I am immensely proud and which makes a huge difference, every day, to all of us. This won’t be the first communication that you will see about these challenges, but I encourage you to consider, now, what you can do to ensure that this critical service remains entwined within the fabric of our community. Thank you.
John Fracchia (FRAY-Shuh)
Town of Caroline
SLATERVILLE AMBULANCE INC.
Dear Caroline Friends and Neighbors,
Slaterville Ambulance has been staffed by volunteers for 55 years, and has provided high quality emergency medical services (EMS) in our community, without billing the citizens of the Town of Caroline for such services. As is the national trend, the number of individuals volunteering for local agencies has drastically decreased over the years. Volunteering for emergency services, such as EMS or fire services demands a serious commitment, For the last several years, there have been only about 12 – 13 active members staffing the ambulance 24/7/365. The largest percentage of these volunteers has also been serving their community for 10 to 50 years; it is thus obvious that this is an aging (and tiring) group of dedicated individuals.
Running an operation on such a limited number of individuals is realistically not a sustainable effort. The ambulance organization has always been frugal in its operations, a conscious effort to recognize the limited resources of our taxpayers; further, we have never billed for services. We also respond to emergency calls quickly, with times that rival a paid commercial service, and have provided the highest level of pre-hospital care possible. Those traits have won us state and national awards, as well as the respect of our EMS peers and the citizens of our community.
2015 may be our last year of community EMS service if we are not able to recruit more volunteers. We say this with great sadness, but feel that the situation is dire enough to inform our community about it. We will continue to actively look for ways to continue providing this invaluable service, but THIS IS YOUR COMMUNITY … PLEASE, HELP US TO HELP YOU BY VOLUNTEERING. Both ambulance drivers and EMS personnel are needed, and as stated before, this represents a serious time commitment, but without it, community-based EMS services in the Town of Caroline, as you have known them all these years – free, prompt and quality pre-hospital care – will no longer exist.
Call 607-539-6233 and leave a message – someone will call you back with more information.
Thank you for caring.
Beth Harrington, President