South County EMS

Sunderland to vote on South County EMS tonight

SUNDERLAND — Tonight residents will decide whether they want to join Franklin County’s first municipal regional paramedic ambulance service with Deerfield and Whately.

The townspeople will be asked to create the South County Emergency Medical Service.

The plan is to have a 24/7 service covering the 66 square miles of the three southern Franklin County towns. A primary ambulance would be based at the South Deerfield fire station with a backup at the Sunderland Public Safety Complex until the towns find a permanent home.

The special town meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Sunderland Elementary School.

The Sunderland meeting is second among the three towns. Whately voted to join the regional service this week. Deerfield will vote on Oct. 28.

Residents will be asked to enter into an inter-municipal agreement with Deerfield and Whately to establish the regional EMS. Then, they will be asked to pay $155,366 for their share of the service.

Deerfield’s share is $255,488, while Whately’s portion is $83,735.

The projected full-year budget for July 2014 to June 2015 would be $749,595. The individual town assessment is $235,972 for Sunderland.

The current EMS cost for Sunderland is $156,889.

In Sunderland, the service would add 21 cents to the tax rate. The approximate annual impact for a $275,000 home is $57.75.

At present the town is served by a part-time volunteer ambulance with backup from other towns and Baystate Health Ambulance.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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