WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) - Some Franklin County towns want to change the way they respond to emergency medical calls. 22News is working for you with details of the new plan.
Voters in three Franklin County towns have to decide if they'll change to a regional ambulance service.
The towns of Whately, Deerfield, and Sunderland will decide this month if they want to change to a regional ambulance service.
There are three levels with ambulance service-basic, intermediary, and paramedic. In Whately and Deerfield they have intermediary. In Sunderland it's a basic service.
According to Jonathan Edwards, Selectmen of Whately, “Right now none of the three towns have 24 hour, 7 day a week coverage; the regional ambulance system will set up 24 hour a day, 7 day a week paramedic level coverage."
The year long plan will cost close to $494,000, costing Deerfield about $255,000, Sunderland about $155,000, and Whately close to $83,000.
The primary ambulance would be housed at the South Deerfield Fire Department off of Route 5 and 10, and covered by full time EMT’s. A second ambulance would continue to be housed at the Sunderland Fire Department on Route 47 as a backup.
Whately Town Selectmen Jonathan Edwards says he's working to keep a third ambulance covered by volunteer staff at the firehouse on Christian Lane.
Doug Scoville of Deerfield says he volunteers with the South Deerfield Fire Department. "Yeah I think that's a great idea because you're going to get a crew that can go right out off the bat, that’s on as soon as you get it to be 24 hours."
"I think it's good to have a paramedic level ambulance and I believe it’s good to have full time," said Bob Cowles of Deerfield.
The towns will vote on different dates this month:
- Whately – Tuesday, October 15th
- Sunderland – Friday, October 18th
- Deerfield – Monday, October 28th