Regional ambulance service lands in Whately after all

  • The Whately town office building, formerly the regional library building, will be the future home of South County EMS. Recorder/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/17/2016 11:09:22 PM

SUNDERLAND — South County EMS has decided that the new Whately town office building is the best fit for its future permanent home.

After voting to reject an initial proposal from Whately for technical reasons, the ambulance company’s board of oversight passed a second vote to begin negotiating for space in the one-time regional library building during a meeting Thursday.

Zach Smith, chief and director of South County EMS, said that if the initial proposal had been accepted, there wouldn’t have been much room for the service to negotiate design schematics.

“As presented, we didn’t think it was something we could agree with,” Smith said. “But we want to enter into negotiations with them separately.”

The office building was one of two proposals submitted following a request for proposals earlier this month.

The other was for space at the former South Deerfield Fire Department building in the center of the village. The former fire station was converted into a private business and residence in 1994.

Smith said the former fire department building was too small to house the ambulance service.

During a Deerfield selectboard meeting Wednesday night, John Paciorek, who served on the town’s selectboard for 18 years, said he doesn’t think the service should move at all, an argument made in recent months by others in Deerfield. He argued that Deerfield would save money in utility and renovation costs by keeping the ambulance service where it’s currently housed, in the South Deerfield fire station.

“What happens when you start adding up figures, it’ll be cost prohibitive for South County EMS to go into Whately,” he said. “I’m looking at the facts and figures, and what the true costs (will be).”

Smith said he’s excited that the process is moving forward, and said he is optimistic that an agreement can be made with Whately that satisfies the services’ logistical needs.

You can reach Andy Castillo at:

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