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Emergency squads to talk merger in W'burg, Thurman

The town has paid $12,500 to date to the local squad for services, and Coulard asked for all of the $50,000 so paid staffing could be launched.

Wood responded that such a move would put the town's money at risk.

"If we release the money up front and the squad folds, we'd be without funds to contract with another agency to provide services for the town," Wood said.

Board member Leon Galusha expressed support for the local agency.

"We need to help them - it's our only option" he said. "The townspeople have spoken."

But Farrell disagreed. He said Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services had a long history of providing exclusive coverage for the town, and they were not only well-equipped and knew the territory, they were already responding to calls.

"I'm concerned that if you encourage these people to go ahead and try this, we'll be picking up the mess in the interim," he said.

John O'Neill, an assistant captain with Thurman and a volunteer with several other squads, offered an alternative.

"If we get together with Warrensburg and work together as professionals, we can make it work and provide excellent coverage," he said, apparently suggesting a joint operating agreement.

Warrensburg squad officer Steve Emerson agreed, noting the expertise among the Thurman squad members.

The two agency's pledged to meet this week, and figure out a way forward.

Coulard said that Thurman Emergency Medical Services would meet again with the Thurman board April 12 after working out a solution with the Warrensburg Squad.

"We'll come to an agreement of some form," Coulard said.

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