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Ludlow to acquire new ambulance; volunteers needed

LUDLOW The Ludlow Ambulance Service is ALS certified at the paramedic level and serves Ludlow, Proctorsville, Cavendish and half of Plymouth and also have mutual aid agreements with Mt. Holly and other surrounding communities. For clarification purposes, EMS mutual aid services have the responsibility to routinely provide the type and level of service authorized and/or expected by the community, in a timely and reliable manner. From time to time, to meet peak demand or extraordinary resource utilization, it may be necessary to request assistance to answer a call or provide additional resources. The ambulance service currently has one full-time paramedic with volunteers on stipend per each emergency call.The squad has 26 members and 12 trainees on itts roster. Sue Poirier, a major officer of the LAS said, The state and federal governments are putting additional training requirements on the volunteers in emergency services above and beyond those required to maintain our First Response and EMT certifications. It is getting harder and harder to maintain a volunteer organization with these additional, but necessary training requirements, Poirier added.It takes more and more time to remain certified. Additionally, many people are holding down more than one job to make ends meet and do not have theextra time now needed to keep up with these requirements, some of which were brought on by 9-11, others brought on by newer medical discoveries. From October through September 2009, the LAS hopes to have an AmeriCorps/Emergency Response Corps member join its ranks to help assure continuous and qualityfull-time coverage of calls during the weekday daytime hours. Additional responsibilities will includehelping to support public safety and education programs in the community and to help us recruit and maintain new volunteers. I also dont think the public has a good knowledgeor appreciation of just how much training our volunteers do in order to serve the community, Poirier said. Ludlow Ambulance Service receives no monetary support from the Town of Ludlow; it is entirely self-sufficient and not supported by the taxpayer funds. I am always on the look out for ways to spread the good word about our great members, their dedication and service to the community which they do forno cost to the community, said Poirier. We operatesolely through our insurance billings and the occasional donations. LAS will acquire two new power stretchers to assist EMTs in lifting patients and cut down on the risk of injury to the volunteers. Also, within the next six months the community will see a new ambulance rolling down their street. Ludlow Ambulance routinely visits several Rutland County communities in which they serve with various health promotion activities. The squad will participatie in the Proctorsville Fire Departments upcoming 175th Anniversary celebration and will hand out File of Life supplies the parade. In addition, the squad continues to support the community at many events, providing emergency medical services for Race for Grace (a Cystic Fibrosis fund raiser) and 100 on 100 Relay (supporting Boys and Girls clubs). Some of our members are hoping to have some fun themselves byparticipating in the annual Rotary Club chili contest making chili, not treating for its effects, Poirier said. To become involved as a LAS volunteer, a First Response class will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. starting Oct. 6 through Nov. 24. For details about volunteering, call Carl Matteson at 802-228-2880, Don Buswell at 802-228-8678 after 4 p.m., or Poirier at 802-228-3308.

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