Until a few years ago, Bolton EMS was able to provide expert services utilizing only volunteers who were full-time residents. But with a declining volunteer membership and the prevailing demands on people’s time, particularly in the summer months, the organization began to hire Paramedics, Critical Care technicians and EMT staffers from out-of-town.
Routinely, Bolton ambulances now respond staffed with either a volunteer or paid crew or a combination of the two.
However, because so many other North Country community-based ambulance services are also lacking volunteers, the agencies are all competing for the limited number of advanced medical technicians available. Also, it is increasingly difficult to find staff or volunteers to crew an ambulance 24/7, agency officers say.
Bolton EMS Operations Administrator Earl Mikoloski talked recently of the pressures on agency personnel and finances.
“Reluctantly in May 2012, when our increasing payroll burden surpassed the level of financial support the Town of Bolton was able to commit, we found it necessary to begin billing for emergency medical services,” he said. Even with this additional income, financial stresses continue, he added.
Bolton EMS, like so many other smaller rural ambulance corps, doesn’t have enough ambulance calls a year to be self-sustaining on medical service billing alone. Mikoloski noted that increasing costs of personnel, fuel, ambulance fuel and maintenance, utilities, medical supplies and equipment — as well as the expense of mandated oversight by an agency medical director — continue to stress the agency’s budget.
Area residents who can help out by volunteering their time in virtually any capacity are urged to contact Mikoloski at 644-9283 or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Geo. Hike-A-Thon slated
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Lake George Land Conservancy is hosting a Hike-A-Thon on Friday July 5, the first of its kind for Lake George.
The lake-wide event will involve various parks and preserves in six towns and is expected to engage hundreds of participants of all ages.