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Emergency or the road to recovery?

Since her termination, Sears has expressed concern for the manner in which some members of the Johnsburg EMS board of directors, and in particular its acting chairman, Mark Bergman, have treated the volunteer staff.

Bergman has personally come under fire for "driving out" squad members that do not agree with his agenda or vocalize support for Sears. His supporters counter the argument with the contention that Sears performed her job in a way that was detrimental to the organization and while the move has been difficult for the squad, it was necessary due to internal factors.

While Sears is willing to accept the loss of her paid position - the issue of the volunteer staff's treatment, including her own, remains a primary concern.

She cites several instances where volunteers have reduced their commitment to the minimum of 12 hours per month in response to her departure.

"People who were volunteering on a regular basis have all dropped back," she said.

Sears also expresses concern over the conduct of the squad's chairman, including what she feels are disparaging remarks made against her.

"As chairman of the board he should be working to stop things like this - not keep them going," she said. "That's the biggest problem that we all have - feeling like if you have a voice in the squad then you are going to be forced out."

For a squad that relies heavily on volunteer staff, particularly during the busy ski season, Sears notes instances where neighboring EMS squads are beginning to respond within the Town of Johnsburg.

As an example, she details an incident earlier this month where a Minerva ambulance apparently responded to a Johnsburg "third call" with just a driver.

"Johnsburg had its third ambulance sitting right there and it never got off the floor," she said.

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