Rescue started this past year on a high note, celebrating fifty years of service in the community. We hosted a reunion, celebration and open house that allowed us to connect with many men and women that have defined our organization in the last half-century. Alumni shared stories of the humble beginnings of Rescue Inc and the camaraderie and commitment that has sustained it. The recurring theme all evening was high quality emergency medicine and the desire to provide the best care to our patients. As we look to the future; we recognize that health care delivery is changing, technology is improving and our communities rely on us to continually evolve to meet these new demands.
This year our provider staff was busy responding to more than five thousand calls in our fifteen member towns. The calls ranged from simple assistance to complicated medical and trauma patients that required transport to hospitals in Dartmouth and Boston. In addition we also provided medical standby for events and large incidents in our nearly five hundred square mile coverage area. Our administrative team and board of trustees continue to work on operational efficiency, equipment replacement and Medicaid payment improvements to ensure that Rescue is ready for the future.
We have been undertaking an efficiency and modernization project at our Brattleboro office that has allowed us to provide a space for the hundreds of local citizens, medical providers and future EMTs to receive training each year through our community training center. These programs range from CPR and First Aid to Advanced Cardiac Life Support. In the West River Valley, construction is underway on a new facility that will allow us to meet the growing needs in that region.
This year’s equipment upgrades include a complete rebuild on A6. This “new” truck is slightly larger and will better accommodate the ventilators and pumps used by our Critical Care Paramedics. This truck also comes with our first new stretcher and mounting systems to meet the latest federal requirements.
We worked with the Vermont Ambulance Association and our state representatives on Medicaid payment reform. Expansion of our state managed Medicaid program was creating major funding issues for ambulance services across the state. We are pleased that some improvement was made last year in reimbursement amounts and look forward to working with legislators again during this session.
This year starts the next fifty years of commitment to high quality patient care consistent with the vision of our founders and the expectations of our community. As your regional non-profit ambulance and rescue service, our mission is to serve you, our community.