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South County EMS

Towns form team for EMS transition

SOUTH DEERFIELD — On Nov. 19, a transition team made up of selectmen and fire and ambulance directors will begin to build the newly created South County Emergency Medical Service.

The plan is to have the regional 24/7 paramedic ambulance service up and running for the towns of Whately, Deerfield and Sunderland by Jan. 1.

The three towns recently approved the $749,595 service at special town meetings.

While Sunderland and Whately appointed members to the team that would be on the Board of Oversight, the Deerfield Board of Selectmen appointed only Selectman Chairman Mark Gilmore to the transition team.

The Deerfield board, Gilmore explained, sees the transition committee and Oversight Board as separate organizations allowed under the inter-municipal agreement and would appoint a second member later.

The Sunderland Board appointed Selectman Tom Fydenkevez and Sunderland Fire Chief Robert Ahearn to the Oversight Board. The Whately selectmen appointed Ambulance Director Gary Stone and a former fire chief, Randy Sibley.

Though Stone spoke out against the regional EMS at town meeting, he said if the proposal passed he would throw his support behind it.

The goal of the transition team is to determine the makeup of the organization and how to proceed with hiring and writing a job description for the EMS director, Gilmore said. The team will also establish the responsibilities of the director and role of the board.

Also on the transition team’s agenda is to discuss the voting power of the Oversight Board.

Deerfield Finance Committee Chairman Albert Olmstead requested the Deerfield selectmen to consider giving the town more voting power on the Oversight Board, a desire of many residents.

“I’m hoping the transition committee will take all things into consideration and make good decisions,” Gilmore said.

The first meeting at 7 p.m. at the Sunderland Public Safety Complex.

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

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