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Thurman board to meet with new EMS officers

THURMAN - The Thurman Emergency squad has reorganized, and the Thurman Town Board is meeting with the agency's new officers at the squad's request to discuss issues about the services they provide, according to town officials.

The two entities will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, and the meeting is open to the public, town Supervisor Evelyn Wood said Monday, March 28.

Thurman Emergency Medical Services' new president, in office about a month, said Monday night she didn't want to discuss details about the reorganization, the new officers, or the upcoming meeting.

"It hasn't all been settled yet - it's in transition," she said.

Coulard, however, did mention that Adam Styers is the new captain of the squad.

Former president of the squad Jim DeSourdy said Monday night that Coulard, a new member of the agency in the past six months, asked him at a recent meeting to step down from his post about a month ago, and he responded by resigning. He said Coulard had told him he should have given the emergency services contract with the town more thorough review with the squad's board of directors, a charge he disputes.

The contract that the Town Board signed recently calls for the squad to respond to 80 percent of Basic Life Support calls and not to charge patients for services rendered.

Until about six months ago, Coulard was the president of the Warrensburg Emergency Squad, which had been negotiating with the Thurman Town Board to provide emergency services instead of the Thurman squad. The Warrrensburg squad bills its patients, and Desourdy said Coulard was in favor of billing.

"I told Jean I thought the Thurman Board would pull the plug on us if we billed," he said.

Desourdy also said several other members had left the squad about the same time he resigned - and since then, the squad's response rate has dropped substantially.

Wood said she is now gathering information about the response rate from the county dispatching administration.

DeSourdy said he had worked hard on behalf of the community to make sure the local squad survived, and he was disappointed in how the situation was handled.

"I fought hard for the squad and a contract with the town, and I feel it's a slap in the face to be asked to step down," he said.

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