Ten Southern Aroostook Towns Form Emergency Medical Service
HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) -
Ten towns in southern Aroostook county have come together to solve an issue in their Emergency Medical Services. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has more.
When faced with a steep increase in price for contracted EMS services in their towns, 10 southern Aroostook communities joined forces to form the Southern Aroostook Emergency Medical Services committee. Over the course of a year and a half, the committee has met weekly, to plan and organize the formation of their own Emergency Medical Services.
“We’ve been recognized by the legislature, we’re a quasi-municipal organization. There have been 10 towns that have had a formal vote to join” says Candy Nevers – Town Manager, Smyrna/Merril.
The committee says that the total upfront cost of starting their EMS service will run 1.1 million dollars, but that as time goes on, the overall operating cost will be significantly smaller than contracting out services to another town.
“We looked at three things, we looked at whether we could provide the service, whether we could match the cost or do it less, and whether we could give the towns representation. And we believe we can answer all three of those as yes. That we can do it, that we can supply the service and we can do it for less money.” says Gordon Hagerman – Chairman, Southern Aroostook Emergency Medical Services Committee
The committee is in the process of purchasing the former home of Furniture and Floors North in Houlton. Plans have already been drawn showing modifications that would have to be made for the EMS service to be operational. The committee is currently searching for a Director for their operation are are looking at a target date of January 1st, 2022 to be fully operational.
“Were so happy that the public came together on this and is giving us the opportunity that I think will be right for all our communities, we’re defiantly looking forward to serving everybody, and making this really an asset to all the surrounding communities.” says Crystal Folsom – Secretary/Treasurer, Southern Aroostook Emergency Medical Services Committee.
Amity, Hammond, Monticello, Littleton, Ludlow, New Limerick, Hodgdon, Linneus, Smyrna, and Merrill have all joined the committee.
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