A few items have come our way that indicate some pushback on the recent Town decisions regarding Rescue, Inc.
Anne Latchis has sent this out:
I’m writing to ask you to please write or call our town select-board members to ask them bring the ‘Town Manager’s decision to no longer contract with Rescue, Inc.’ to a TOWN VOTE . Contact info is listed below.
I’ve attached some information from Rescue for you to read additional information about their services.
No matter what you think is best for our Town, I hope you agree that a town vote is the sensible way to proceed and will ask for this TODAY.
Please consider going to the select-board meeting Tuesday April 19, 2022 at 6:15 PM. in the Select-board Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street). The building is handicap accessible.
and this letter was sent to iBrattleboro:
To the selectboard and Yoshi Manale:
Before you sign that contract you would be very negligent not to look very carefully at Golden Cross financials to make sure they are solvent enough to absorb the tremendous loss they will be taking by supplying Brattleboro with 2 ambulances and 24 hour coverage of a paramedic for 365 days and half time coverage of an AEMT for 365 days for $75,000.
If those personnel were paid just $15.00 an hour without holiday, weekend or shift differentials the total salaries for the year will be $197,100.00
Will they also be stocking the ambulances for that amount?
Supplying the equipment such as cardiac monitors, defibrillators, ultra sound equipment (to name a few) for that amount?
Maintenance for that amount?
Fuel for that amount?
Billing for that amount?
Absorbing the loss for each Medicare patient?
Absorbing the loss for each non paying / uninsured patient?
Footing the malpractice insurance cost?
Again, these are just a few of the costs involved to run an EMS.
I am concerned and I hope you are open minded, honest, and ethical.
And here is the March 25 letter to the Town Manager from Drew Hazelton of Rescue, Inc.
At our meeting on February 9, 2022, you advised me that the Town of Brattleboro was no longer willing to continue their 56-year financial and political relationship (as a member town) with Rescue, Inc. During this meeting you stated that Brattleboro was unwilling to pay the assessed rate; a rate unchanged from last year discussed at length at our annual town information meeting and adopted by our Board of Trustees.
This sudden and abrupt change in position is inconsistent with statements made by Peter Elwell at our annual meeting, as well as previous written agreements with the town. (please see attached). During our meeting you stated that you were only willing to allow Rescue to continue providing services to the town without paying for those services at all, and that any shortfall should be shifted to the other communities that we serve. The town position is that Brattleboro already subsidizes those towns through fire department response.
I find this request to be fundamentally wrong and simply disrespectful to all the communities we serve, as we have supported patients in this region for half a century. The system is known state-wide for award-winning service and unmatched reliability. The fact that the fire department responds to other towns in our county is irrelevant to the fundamental issue here – paying for services the town receives.
Given the timing of the town’s change, well after budget development, I can only assume that the motivation of the policy change is based on our ongoing challenges with the Brattleboro Fire Department.
I continue to oppose BFD’s application for an increase of their EMS license to the Paramedic level. As you know from our previous meetings, we have repeatedly asked for a resolution to years of poor patient turn over, gender discrimination, verbal abuse and general lack of cooperation by certain members of BFD. I appreciate that you acknowledged these issues at our January meeting and your commitment to correct these issues. It is my opinion that they lack the necessary oversight to provide clinically appropriate care to the citizens of Brattleboro. the change would also likely cause unnecessary transport delays and an overall reduction in the entire system’s performance.
Given your started position and unwillingness to pay for emergency medical response, Rescue, Inc. will not be able to continue providing service to the Town of Brattleboro beyond the June 30, 2022 contract end date. if the town would like to come and speak with me about an agreement for service beyond June 30, 2022, please contact me no later than May 1, 2022, to schedule a meeting. I will be scheduling a meeting with our remaining member towns shortly after that date so that we can discuss the operational and financial effect on our system as it relates to Brattleboro’s decision.
So, a bit of an indication that this discussion is probably not over yet.