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South County EMS finally in its new home

  • People gather for the open house of the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • People gather for the open house of the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • People gather for the open house of the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • People gather for the open house of the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Representatives from Deerfield Academy and members of the South County EMS Board of Oversight gather for a photo at the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Representatives from Deerfield Academy, members of the South County EMS Board of Oversight, and EMS personnel, gather for a photo in front of the new South County EMS location on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



Recorder Staff
Saturday, May 26, 2018

SOUTH DEERFIELD — South County EMS has a new location on Greenfield Road and they’re calling it something they long desired — home.

The 88 Greenfield Road home base opened Saturday, culminating a roughly four-year process to find a permanent location for the regional medical services provider, according to South County EMS Director Zachary Smith. The building was built by Deerfield Academy and will be the central location from which EMS personnel will respond to emergencies in Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland.

The building is a brand-new construction with three ambulance bays, secure storage for medications and supplies carried on ambulances, crew quarters, office space and a conference room for EMS professional training, Smith said.

“This facility provides our staff with the space they need to accomplish their tasks and to also recuperate and offers respite after difficult calls,” Smith said.

The location is centrally located to Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland — the three towns the EMS agency services. Previously, South County EMS had four different locations, one in each of the South Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland fire department stations, and another in Deerfield Town Hall.

This separation made it difficult for the providers at times, Smith said, since they would have to travel in their personal vehicles to check equipment, and if additional or new equipment was needed they would have to go to the South Deerfield fire department for it.

Now, these additional steps aren’t needed.

“Now it’s one-stop shopping. They don’t have to drive 10 miles for equipment — now they can walk 10 feet,” Smith said.

The base will house three ambulances — two that are used for emergency responses and a third as a back-up if the other two units are out of service or if there is an event that requires on-site medical services.

Of the two ambulances staffed for emergencies, one is 24 hours a day and the other is staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., both seven days a week. These two ambulances are typically staffed at the paramedic level, meaning treatment for patients can include advanced cardiac and medicinal options, according to Smith.

Finding a place to call “home”

Smith said South County EMS has been seeking a permanent location since its inception in July 2014. About two years ago, Deerfield Academy officials offered to help, according to the Academy’s Chief Financial Officer Keith Finan.

Finan said Deerfield Academy approached Deerfield officials about helping with the construction of a building.

“It turned out to be something that would benefit the community and students of Deerfield Academy,” Finan said.

Finan said Deerfield Academy was leased the land for the building, had the structure constructed on it and then gifted it back to the town. The construction was estimated to cost about $500,000, though Finan said they haven’t determined the final cost.

Smith said rent for the location will be paid to the town it’s in. This rent will be part of the agency’s budget that is paid by the three towns it services. Currently, Deerfield pays 51.76 percent, Sunderland 31.48 percent and Whately 16.76 percent for services.

You can reach Dan Desrochers at:

ddesrochers@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 257