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Horicon ditches North Warren Emergency Squad

CHESTERTOWN - The Horicon Town Board has all but fired the North Warren Emergency Squad, citing that the strife in the agency is threatening the health and welfare of townspeople.

The town board voted Sept. 17 to advertise for new proposals for emergency medical services for 2010 and beyond, Horicon Supervisor Ralph Bentley said Friday.

The town board now pays $49,000 per year to the North Warren Emergency Squad, based in Chestertown, for providing emergency medical services to the town of Horicon's 1,480 or so residents. The Town of Chester pays about $60,000 annually towards the squad's operations. The present service contracts with the North Warren Emergency Squad expire Dec. 31.

Bentley said the board would not accept new service proposals from the North Warren Emergency Squad unless they remove all paid staff members from their governing board of directors.

He said that with paid staff members on the board, the squad leaders were likely making decisions that benefited themselves, rather than the putting the community foremost. He said that four of the squad's seven board members were paid staffers - including squad President Kevin White.

"The squad must reorganize for us to consider them again," Bentley said. "It's unethical to be a paid staff member sitting on the board of directors while stifling any member who questions the finances or operations of the squad."

He said the squad leadership had fired several dedicated volunteers who had raised questions about the squad's finances and operations - including captain Paul Frasco and his wife Patti Frasco - and threatened to fire other squad members who sought information on the squad's finances or management, or who wanted to discuss concerns with town officials.

Contacted at the squad building late Friday afternoon, White said he wouldn't comment on the allegations over the squad operations or finances.

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