No need to fear change
Apr 04, 2013 | 4157 views | 0 0 comments | 285 285 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nobody likes the idea of uncertainty, especially when it comes to emergency services. That probably explains why the pending dissolution of the Whitingham Ambulance Service is a difficult proposition for many involved. For those volunteers who have spent countless hours staffing the small rural ambulance service it’s like losing a first-born child. For those in the communities of Whitingham and Halifax, the idea of losing an ambulance service leads to many “what if” scenarios that seem unanswerable.

However, everyone involved needs to take a deep breath and exhale. Nothing is going away overnight. But things are going to change, and everyone will have to get used to a new reality. It certainly appears that the nonprofit corporation will be dissolved, and its assets broken up. Deerfield Valley Rescue will be stepping in to fill the void and provide coverage.

Sure, there are paperwork wrinkles to clean up. That’s always the case with situations like this. But those issues will iron themselves out. And there is always the fear of the unknown, in terms of changes that inevitably will occur. But the bottom line for most is, and should always be, about prompt response to medical emergencies with competent, trained staff. Deerfield Valley Rescue will fill that role, and should alleviate most fears about the change.

What’s hoped, once the dust settles, is that there will be enough volunteers in Halifax and Whitingham to continue staffing an ambulance for the two communities. In many ways, that won’t be much different than what is currently in place. What will be different will be the name the service operates under. But that probably won’t be a bad thing.

Consolidation, after all, can have its benefits for a community, with more resources behind the new entity. Consolidation in the health care world is occurring every day. Just look at the Deerfield Valley Health Center. Twenty years ago the facility was consolidated in the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center system. Now that system has joined forces with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. With each of those consolidations, more resources are available to those in need. In the end, the beneficiaries have been those who rely on those services. Few would advocate for a return to the 1970s version of the health center, a go-it-alone facility relying on bake sale fundraisers and volunteers to keep the operation afloat.

One thing we’ve come to know, local rescue services really are very good at what they do and are prompt and caring, regardless of who is sitting in the driver’s seat or what logo is on the side of the vehicle.
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