Time is running out to weigh in on Brattleboro Selectboard’s EMS decision

BRATTLEBORO — When an issue is discussed for a long time, one might experience fatigue. Or, as a prominent member of this community wrote to me, "Can we drop this issue? It happened. Let's please move on."

But as Yogi Berra accurately predicted: "It ain't over till it's over."

In point of fact, the Selectboard still needs to make a decision in about a month - on Tuesday, Sept. 19 - as to how emergency medical services will be delivered in Brattleboro.

If you've been studying this, a few points are clear:

• The town had a relationship with Rescue for 56 years. It was bumpy at times and personalities are a challenge, but we, as entities, are bigger than that. We must restore the relationship. We are part of a region served by Rescue.

• Rescue and its employees care about the people of this town. This is not just a slogan. See for yourself: there is an Open House at Rescue on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Fire-based EMS for Brattleboro in 2023 is more expensive. A squandering of ARPA funds that could be better used elsewhere, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. A gamble based on (maybe) some revenue from insurance reimbursement. And not the right decision for today.

Even the International Association of Fire Chiefs, a major proponent of fire-based EMS, advised: "The majority of agencies across the United States are fire-based EMS systems, though this doesn't mean this is necessarily the best system for your community."

The Selectboard - its five members - will make this decision, and time is running out. They will hold one more meeting for public input on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and a public forum planned for Tuesday, Sept. 12.

You can also reach out directly to your Selectboard members. You can learn who they are and how to contact them at Brattleboro.org. Do it now!

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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