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Bolton EMS now seeking volunteers

Bolton Emergency Squad members from the mid-1990s pose for a group photo. Bolton EMS was awarded New York State Emergency Squad of the Year in 1996 for their efficient response to a catastrophic bus crash on Lake Shore Drive and county Rte. 11. A few of the members shown are still active in the agency. Shown in the photo are (front, left to right): Harold Shippey, Gene Zielinski, Tammie DeLorenzo, Peter French, Steven DeLorenzo, Butch LaGoy, (rear):Dave Norton, Chris Steele, Stephen Baker, Melvin Bishop, Danielle Shippey, Vince Posteraro, Henry Lavit, (not pictured): Jerry Beardon, Janet Brown, Ray Chamberlain, Doreen French, Gil Howse, Bernie Markie, George Mumblow, Tom Muscatello, Robin Neuman, Carl Schoder, Diane Schoder, Mike Sharp, Kelly Smith, and Debby Welch,

Bolton Emergency Squad members from the mid-1990s pose for a group photo. Bolton EMS was awarded New York State Emergency Squad of the Year in 1996 for their efficient response to a catastrophic bus crash on Lake Shore Drive and county Rte. 11. A few of the members shown are still active in the agency. Shown in the photo are (front, left to right): Harold Shippey, Gene Zielinski, Tammie DeLorenzo, Peter French, Steven DeLorenzo, Butch LaGoy, (rear):Dave Norton, Chris Steele, Stephen Baker, Melvin Bishop, Danielle Shippey, Vince Posteraro, Henry Lavit, (not pictured): Jerry Beardon, Janet Brown, Ray Chamberlain, Doreen French, Gil Howse, Bernie Markie, George Mumblow, Tom Muscatello, Robin Neuman, Carl Schoder, Diane Schoder, Mike Sharp, Kelly Smith, and Debby Welch,

— Although Bolton Emergency Medical Services is always in need of trained emergency medical technicians, the agency also needs drivers, administrative help, equipment maintenance assistance, as well as help stocking medical supplies.

Help from both full-time and part-year residents is appreciated. Assistance from Bolton’s fair-weather residents is welcome because summer is the agency’s busiest time of the year when extra help is vital and immensely appreciated.

Bolton EMS officials said this week they strive to provide local communities with the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation over 24 hours, seven days per week.

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: emikoloski@boltonems.org.

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