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Thurman squad poised to be reinstated as the sanctioned local EMS agency

At the conclusion of the Thurman Town Board meeting Monday Nov. 14, the leaders of two ambulance squads formerly competing to be local sanctioned squad exchanged friendly compliments. Warrensburg EMS captain Steve Emerson (left) shares his thoughts with Thurman squad President Jean Coulard (center) and Thurman squad Captain John O’Neill. Monday, Warrensburg EMS withdrew their bid for the contract to be the town’s primary agency in 2012, citing that the town wasn’t paying enough for their services.

At the conclusion of the Thurman Town Board meeting Monday Nov. 14, the leaders of two ambulance squads formerly competing to be local sanctioned squad exchanged friendly compliments. Warrensburg EMS captain Steve Emerson (left) shares his thoughts with Thurman squad President Jean Coulard (center) and Thurman squad Captain John O’Neill. Monday, Warrensburg EMS withdrew their bid for the contract to be the town’s primary agency in 2012, citing that the town wasn’t paying enough for their services. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Residents of Thurman with urgent medical problems will again be seeing familiar faces manning ambulances responding to emergencies, if negotiations proceed as predicted.

Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services notified the town Monday Nov. 14 they will not be providing primary response coverage for the town beginning Jan. 1, and the Thurman squad, which had its contract with the town terminated by the town’s leaders earlier this year, pledged this week to provide such services immediately.

“We’ll be providing 24-7 coverage,” Squad President Jean Coulard pledged at the special town board meeting Monday. “Our paid EMTs and volunteers have have been — and will be — manning our station.”

After Thurman leaders cut the town’s annual allocation to the Warrensburg Squad from $40,000 for 2011 to $20,000 for 2012, Warrensburg backed out of their proposal to provide primary coverage. This development was announced in a letter read at Monday’s board meeting, when the town council passed the 2012 budget which specified the lower sum.

Warrensburg Squad Captain Steve Emerson said in his letter that the $20,000 earmarked for ambulance services in 2012 was not nearly enough to assure appropriate coverage.

“The $20,000.00 that you put into your budget for EMS for this next year is completely inadequate to assist whatever agency provides EMS to your town,” his letter to the town read.

Coulard said her squad’s ambulance would be rollingl, while it’s leaders negotiate an adequate figure. She said her squad would need at least $40,000 per year from the town, out of which they’d make one of two final payments for the ambulance back to the town. Coulard estimated that her agency would be receiving $54,000 from billing patients and health insurers, and would raise the remainder of their revenue from donations.

“People in Thurman have always been generous with us,” she said.

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