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Homeland Security funds beef up Fair Haven Rescuer

FAIR HAVEN The Fair Haven Rescue squad serves an area sandwiched by the Taconic Mountains of Vermont to the east and the Vanderberg Mountain ridge in New York to the west. Historic Fair Haven, headquarters to the rescue squad, is a unique New England village; it boasts the largest village green in the Green Mountain State. Adding to Fair Havens special place in Vermont history is its long-standing rescue squad that may be small in membership, but big in heart and community service. According to rescue squad member Lori Darrah, fellow squad member Nathan Boutwell is the longest serving member he has been with Fair Haven Rescue since September 1990 when the squad was an all-volunteer squad. Currently, there are 22 professional squad members on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They respond to approximately 900 calls a year in the surrounding communities of Fair Haven, West Haven, Benson, Hubbardton and the Hamptons (N.Y.). Recently Lori Darrah, squad administrator, announced that a new fully equipped Ford E-450 ambulance was added to the fleet as well as an ambulance the previous year. Both ambulances were purchased through a combination of funding resources; such as a Homeland Security Grant as well as town and patient billing, according to Chuck Regula (EMT-Paramedic). The U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys grants and training equipment programs provide a means of direct support to first responders to enable them to acquire additional, specialized equipment, as well as training and technical assistance on those necessary equipment items. Grants and training equipment programs, like the one aiding Fair Haven, permit state and local units of governments to meet terrorist and other enemy threats and to strengthen the capabilities of first responders to safely and effectively prepare for, and respond to, an emergency. The Rutland Tribune met up with three rescue workers while they were on duty; they all echoed similar feelings of personal fulfillment in helping others in surrounding communities. Logan Chapin (EMT-I) said, I recall when an elderly female patient felt cold and I put a warm blanket on her, she giggled happily and I held her hand to the hospital. I felt like I was able to really help someone. Chris Stephenson (EMT-I) agreed with Chapins feeling of satisfaction for a job well done. A good call is when we are able to use the skills that we were trained and save lives, Stephenson said. Most Fair Haven Rescue employees have to travel to maintain their vital certification because the squads aging station does not have adequate space. According to Vermont Department of Health officials, in order to keep their licenses current, Vermont EMTs must maintain sponsorship by a service licensed, complete the specified number of hours of continuing education in a combination of mandatory and optional subjects, fulfill any other EMS district standards for continuing education and local testing and apply on forms available from the Department of Health to receive the new certification. Additionally, EMT-Bs must complete a department-approved EMT-B written exam and a skill-verification program every two years while the EMT-paramedic must re-register as an EMT-paramedic with the National Registry of EMTs. Stephenson said that, While its a low paying job, most of us have another job. But we love to do this kind of work and we take pride in what we do. If your interested in a career in emergency service in the Fair Haven area, call Lori Darrah or Kathy Stephenson at 802-265-3620.

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