New Health Care Bill May Impact Volunteer Ambulance Services
I'm glad I voted for Adam Hinds. Growing up in the small Western Massachusetts town of Buckland, I'm assuming Senator Hinds understands the need for an amendment that will allow volunteer ambulance services to transport patients with only one EMT on a rig. That is what I gathered from the story written by iBerkshires.
As a member of the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department, it was really cool to learn of this story. There have been many instances where LVFD could not respond to a requested transport, or medical call, because there was only one EMT available on the ambulance. The current law states that there be two EMTs on the rig for every basic life support transport. Seems fair right?
Well, with a department of about 40 volunteer firefighters (first responders), only six or seven are EMTs, so often times Lanesborough residents, or folks traveling through town who become victims of automobile accidents, have to wait for an out of town ambulance for transport.
So why don't more volunteer firefighters become EMTs then? A large commitment of about 200 hrs of schooling, difficult testing and costly fees may be a factor. After all, we are non-paid volunteers. According to EMS Deputy Chief for the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Dept., J.D. Hebert, this health care bill "will improve treatment and transport times for people in small communities".