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Thurman EMS quits dispatching its ambulances

While praising local volunteers for their dedication and tenacity, Warren County Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlure LaFlure warns in March that Thurman Emergency Medical Services, a squad with about 80-100 calls per year, could not raise the funds needed to keep ALS-certified staff on duty to respond at any hour. He said that squads need to have a minimum of 600 calls per year to stay afloat without substantial financial support. This last week, Thurman EMS sent a letter to county emergency officials declaring that it is off-line, not to be dispatched, and its ambulance was out of service.

While praising local volunteers for their dedication and tenacity, Warren County Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlure LaFlure warns in March that Thurman Emergency Medical Services, a squad with about 80-100 calls per year, could not raise the funds needed to keep ALS-certified staff on duty to respond at any hour. He said that squads need to have a minimum of 600 calls per year to stay afloat without substantial financial support. This last week, Thurman EMS sent a letter to county emergency officials declaring that it is off-line, not to be dispatched, and its ambulance was out of service. Photo by Thom Randall.

— “A merger or partnership between the two squads would have been ideal to meet the needs of town citizens,” Wood said Nov. 27.

The town of Thurman’s multi-year contract paid the Warrensburg squad $30,000 for EMS coverage in 2013, and this sum increases to $50,000 in 2014.

Emerson said Wednesday that Thurman being officially offline doesn’t change any aspect of his agency’s operation. He said that the Thurman squad had been recently responding to about one-third of the calls in Thurman — incidences that his agency had also responded to.

While some Thurman citizens have wondered whether the Thurman squad’s closure would delay treatment, Emerson cited an incident last Saturday on Mountain Road in which Warrensburg’s ambulance crews were busy, but a Thurman resident who’s an EMT with Warrensburg EMS got to the scene quickly as a First Responder, initiating treatment to the patient while a Johnsburg EMS ambulance was enroute.

Supervisor Wood said that this and other situations have demonstrated the value of a consolidation of the squads, to provide the most expert, advanced medical service and the quickest response.

“I would hope that the squad would explore this option of partnership or consolidation. In today’s world, it’s all about working together,” she said. “We’re all working toward a common goal, the health and safety of our citizens.”

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