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Central Rescue Squad in Urbanna ceases operations

Emergency service will not be affected

After a “long and heartfelt struggle,” Central Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad (CMVRS) had to make the decision to no longer offer volunteer services in Middlesex County, and officially closed its doors on December 31, 2017 due to lack of volunteers to run the squad, said CMVRS treasurer Cindy Kellar. Currently, there is only one CMVRS EMT that lives in Middlesex County, while all others that are active live outside of the county.

“We want to make sure no one panics, thinking that there will be no emergency medical services (EMS) on duty,” said Kellar. “The upper end of the county is still being serviced by Emergency Service Solutions (ESS), and will still operate at the building in Urbanna for the time being.”  

While details have not totally been worked out, the objective was for Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad of Deltaville to take over the volunteer operations effective January 1, 2018 while still maintaining the ESS crew 24/7.

“We want to emphasize that this decision did not come lightly, and we had really hoped to generate some community interest in getting new volunteers, but that did not happen,” said Kellar. “We pleaded to try to get current EMTs and paramedics from the county in the door to get the paperwork and pre-cepts done, so we could get more volunteer crews working on the schedule, but without community support it was impossible to keep the doors open. It’s really about the number of volunteers, and not being able to generate income from insurance to meet the demands of the squad and effectively provide a service to the residents of the county.”

While the squad has received numerous donations from residents, and along with the monthly donation from Middlesex County and income generated from the Second Time Around Thrift Shop run by the CMVRS Auxiliary, it’s not enough to cover the output of funds needed, noted Kellar.  

“We rely heavily on income generated from insurance covered patient transports,” she said. “Currently, Middlesex County gets all revenue from calls that are taken by the county-funded ESS crews; however, the cost of maintaining vehicles, paying the mortgage on the building and the ambulance loan, obtaining medical supplies, diesel fuel, electricity, and other financial obligations, falls upon the squad. Without volunteers to run calls, the demand far exceeds the income.”

Kellar explained it takes about six months for a new person to get the proper training needed. Then the individual must show that he or she is adequately equipped to handle emergency situations on their own while utilizing their critical thinking skills. This could take up to another six months, depending on the call volume. For an incoming person who already has the training, once the application and background checks are complete, they could potentially be released to run in just a few weeks.   

At this time, all willing to offer volunteer services will need to go through the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad, and meet their criteria; however, they will be able to run duty from the Urbanna building once they are processed.

“CMVRS would like to thank those who have supported us both financially and physically over the years. The operations will continue to work in the background to wrap up any financial and/or legal obligations until such time all business has been concluded,” said Kellar.

posted 01.03.2018

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