"The probationary period will make sure everything works out for both parties," Wood said. "In agreeing to this contract, we've let bygones be bygones."
The Thurman emergency squad members met Jan. 23 and ratified the agreement. The vote was nearly unanimous, Thurman EMS president Jim DeSourdy said.
"I'm very happy that we're signing, and looking forward to putting all the problems in the past and working in good relations with the town board," he said. "We are dedicated to helping the townspeople out."
The agreement also stipulates that the squad remain all-volunteer, and not charge for its services.
"I'm very optimistic at this point," Wood said. "Since I ran for office, I wanted to keep EMS services local all along. The board just wanted to make sure people are protected with adequate medical services, while we stay within the budget and keep it affordable for the taxpayers."
Warrensburg EMS president Steve Emerson said he wasn't at all disappointed his agency wasn't confirmed as the designated ambulance squad at an annual payment of $50,000.
"It's outstanding they were able to salvage their hometown squad," he said, referring to the talk circulating that Thurman EMS might disband.
"This means faster care for patients no matter what," Emerson added, noting Warrensburg EMT's will still be responding to most calls, but Thurman personnel will likely get on scene faster, administering vital Basic Life Support. DeSourdy added his squad will be actively working towards reinstating their Advanced Life Support certification.
Joyce Eddy said she and hundreds of other
Thurman residents will be happy to know the new agreement was reached. She noted a petition signed by 222 Thurman residents was recently submitted to the town board calling for the local squad to provide services. Many townspeople had worried about the extra time required - as much as 15 or 20 minutes - for Warrensburg squad members to respond to calls, she said, particularly in the remote areas of Thurman.