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Rescue squad opens new station

POULTNEY Poultney is a typical Vermont small town located in the heart of the Lakes Region. Its a town of shops, award-winning elementary and secondary schools, and Green Mountain College. Its also a place where local heroism is best defined and observed 24 hours a day, seven days a week the Poultney Rescue Squad. Currently, there are 37 volunteers and one paid employee on the staff of the Poultney Rescue Squad, which also includes members of the Middletown First Response squad. The department serves Poultney residents, but also Tinmouth, Middletown Springs, and Hampton, N.Y. Although Poultney is a small town, PRS serves several nearby communities and patients. The squad responds to approximately846 calls a year. The old PRS station was well-worn and well-used. Outgrowing its space for supplies, equipment, and three ambulances, squad members decided to began solicisting donations for a new station to be built on parcel of land acquired years earlier. Construction on the new PRS headquarters began in spring 2007; it wrapped up on July 1 and the squad recently moved into the new quarters. Samantha Camara a current EMT-B and communications officer with PRS said, We have storage space, room for an extra ambulance, a large classroom, and facilities for the on-duty crew. This will also, hopefully, aid in member attrition and retention. Like other volunteer rescue departments, PRS faces similar challenges, especially when it comes to volunteers. Capt. Mark Camara EMT-Intermediate said, Its hard to recruit members who are willing to pick up on-duty shifts. In fact, it becomes quite difficult to keep people interested in helping out the squad when they have hectic home lives. We all, however, share a common bond, helping our neighbors and citizens when they need our assistance and our professional emergency medical services. Two members of the Poultney Rescue Squad, Justin LaFond and Lydia Taylor, were at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland in early September. They were staffing a first-aid station for fair attendees. LaFondhas been an EMT-Basic for three years with the rescue squad and is currently working toward his EMT-Intermediate license. Taylor has been an EMT for 15 years and obtained her EMT-Intermediate status. Both echoed the reason why they enjoy being apart of Poultney Rescue: "We enjoy helping our neighbors. According to an anonymous Rutland County area volunteer, there are different reasons to join a local rescue squad: I've been an EMT for 10 years now and a volunteer member of the local ambulance company for 11 years. I was inspired by my dad, who is a career paramedic for our town ambulance company. He has been involved with the fire department/EMS since he was a teenager. He started out in the Fair Haven Fire Department. I was in high school taking a life-guarding class and came home each night excited to talk to him about what I was learning as far as the first aid part of it went. He saw my enthusiasm for it so he suggested that I join our volunteer ambulance company. I had never thought of that or that I could even do that, but as soon as I turned 18 I joined. I have really enjoyed this and I am glad I chose to do it. Poultney Rescue Squad is currently holding an ECA class and also holds CPR/AED courses throughout the year. If youre interested in rescue training and helping the residents of Poultney and surrounding communities, call Capt. Camara at 802-287-5575 for more details.

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