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South County EMS

South County ambulance service changes name

SOUTH DEERFIELD — For now, the new paramedic ambulance service in southern Franklin County will be known as the Medical Authority of South County.

The name South County Emergency Medical Service was informally used during the transition process.

Ambulance service Chief Zachary Smith said, “The Board of Oversight and I worked together to find a name that best represents who we are and what we do” Smith said. “This new department will provide services beyond just ‘emergency’ medicine to our communities. We wanted our name to reflect this broader mission.”

The EMS agency serves Whately, Deerfield and Sunderland.

Smith added that historically the term “authority” has been used to denote regional public or municipal-based entities, such as transportation agencies. Since this is the first municipal-based regional medical department in the state, the term is unusual for the EMS field in Massachusetts.

“We have broken new ground by creating this type of department, and the name reflects the very unique thing we have accomplished,” Smith said in a statement.

The service is also working on new uniform designs for the paramedics and EMTs.

Right now, changes in the ambulance services are almost imperceptible to the public. The three towns respond to medical emergencies in much the same way they always have, and Deerfield EMS has added staffing to respond to the other towns automatically with paramedics, Smith said.

But on July 1, the Medical Authority of South County will officially take over medical response duties for the three towns with 24/7 paramedic coverage.

“Although behind the scenes things will be different, to the general public the only change they can expect to see come July 1 will be an ambulance with a higher level of medical care arriving at their door in less time than before,” Smith said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com 413-772-0261 ext. 268. or on Twitter follow: @RecorderKatMcK

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