It is sometimes helpful to look at information in a timeline format. Thanks to everyone who assisted in piecing this together this list of Brattleboro Fire, Rescue, and EMS items from the past year or so.**
Please note any additions or corrections you feel would clarify in the comments if you’d like. This is an in-progress project and will likely be updated. I’ll note any edits to the main timeline list in the comments.
March 22 – Elizabeth McLoughlin becomes Chair of the Selectboard.
April 1 – Fire Chief Bucossi retires; Lenny Howard becomes Fire Chief.
Sept 19 – Rescue Inc. consortium meeting; Town Manager Peter Elwell says there will be no change to EMS services.
Oct 12 – Brattleboro announces hiring of Yoshi Manale.
Nov 2 – Selectboard 2021-22 goals update – no mention of Fire or EMS.
Nov 9 – Selectboard begins FY23 budget discussions.
Nov 23 – FY23 Budget discussion of Fire Department. No mention of going to a combined Fire/EMS.
Nov 30 – FY23 budget discussion of auxiliary services, with Ambulance Service as a line item. No mention of Fire/EMS.
Dec 31 – Peter Elwell retires as Brattleboro Town Manager.
Jan 1 – Yoshi Manale becomes Brattleboro Town Manager; FY23 budget discussion and no discussion of Fire/EMS.
Jan 18 – Final review of FY23 budget and outstanding issues. No mention of Fire/EMS. Rescue and Town of Brattleboro sign a 3-year Operational Letter of Agreement.
Jan 19 – Drew Hazelton of Rescue asks to meet with Manale and Patrick Moreland to check in. Had strange feeling from Jan 18 meeting (according to Hazelton comments at May 19 member town meeting).
Jan 21 – Selectboard meeting re: FY23 budget + executive session for employment, real estate, and legal advice.
Jan 25 – Special Selectboard Meeting to approve FY23 budget for RTM. No Fire/EMS discussion.
Feb 9 – Town Manager Manale and Patrick Moreland meet with Deb Chapman (Brattleboro’s representative) and Drew Hazelton of Rescue; Manale asks for financial information, Rescue told rate is unacceptable.
Feb 15 – Executive Session with department heads – to employ or evaluate an employee. Selectboard background materials contain statement from January Fire Department report “Administration is developing a presentation on the feasibility of BFD becoming a EMS transport service.”
Mar 1 – Executive Session re: employment.
Mar 9 – RTM Informational meeting.
March 15 – Executive Session re: contracts. Selectboard background materials from Fire Department report for February indicate: “Chief Howard and AC Keir continue to work on the feasibility of becoming an ambulance transport service. ”
March 19 – Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting approves FY23 budget.
March 22 – Ian Goodnow becomes Chair of the Selectboard.
March 25 – Letter from Drew Hazelton at Rescue stating Rescue cannot provide services for free, but open to further negotiations.
March 25 or 26 – Lenny Howard reached out to Golden Cross.
April 5 – Executive Session re: employment with Attorney “Brian Monogham” ; Selectboard discussion of goals for 2022-2023 with no mention of Fire/EMS.
April 11 – Letter from Town Manager’s office announcing Brattleboro will not continue contract with Rescue and transition to joint Fire/EMS services; Town Manager and Chair Goodnow send letter to Rescue responding to comments.
April 18 – Forum at Fire Station – Chief Howard says he contacted Golden Cross after letter from Rescue on March 25. (Town Manager confirmed.)
April 19 – Executive Session re: contracts; Selectboard Meeting – Golden Cross contract approved. Report in background materials from Fire Department for March says “Administration continually working on developing EMS service to the people of Brattleboro.”
April 23 – Forum at Fire Station
April 26 – Forum at Fire Station
May 3 – Executive Session re: employment; Selectboard finalizes goals for 2022-23. No mention of Fire/EMS.
May 17 – Executive Session re: labor relations, with Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief; Board awards EMS Feasibility Contract to AP Triton.
May 19 – Board Chair Ian Goodnow sends letter to Rescue to discuss mutual aid; Rescue consortium meeting without Brattleboro to discuss impact to remaining member towns.
May 20 – Resignation statement from Town Manager Yoshi Manale ; Rescue offers dates and times to Town for discussing mutual aid.
May 24 – Fire/EMS District 3 Meeting – Chief Howard says Rescue not needed for backup, Keene will be covering.
May 31 – Special Selectboard meeting to accept Town Manager resignation; Executive Session with Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief.
June 1 – Rescue receives response from Town re: offer of dates and times for mutual aid meeting.
June 3 – Yoshi Manale resignation date. Robert Oeser delivers Notice of Violation to Town.
June 6 – Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland and selectboard members meet with Rescue Inc. Brattleboro requests “uncompensated mutual aid.” Rescue issues press release.
June 7 – Selectboard admits violation of 1 VSA § 313 , § 314 – Open meeting law; ratifies Mar 15, April 5, and April 19 exec sessions to conform. Executive session to discuss Mutual Aid with Interim Town Manager, Fire Chief and and Assistant Fire Chief.
June 9 – State Health Department asks for signed Mutual Aid agreement before approving joint Golden Cross/Brattleboro Fire EMS project. (Reformer)
June 14 – Selectboard executive session discussing EMS contracts, Mutual Aid contracts, and collective bargaining with Fire Department.
June 15 – Secretary of State responds to Oeser complaint: “…steps taken by the Select Board were sufficient to cure any violations, and that the Select Board has committed to compliant practices going forward…”
June 21 – Golden Cross ambulance service approved by State of Vermont. Golden Cross contract change approved by Selectboard, to “expand the second AEMT provider to 24 hours per day and situate a third ambulance (to be housed at Station 2.)” Chief Len Howard tells board he requested the additional coverage.
June 23 – Interim Town Manager Moreland writes and mails letter to Rescue asking for mutual aid.
June 27 – Fire Chief Len Howard informs board of need for additional medical director services hours to meet requirements of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and with District 13’s medical director.
June 28 AM – Selectboard member Tim Wessel releases Moreland’s letter to Rescue before Rescue receives it. Chair of Rescue board receives copy of letter from reporter asking for comments.
June 28 PM – Rescue receives letter in mail from Moreland.
June 30 – Rescue service in Brattleboro to end (contract expires on midnight, July 1, 2022); Golden Cross service to begin.
July 1 – Golden Cross service begins.
July 5 – Selectboard discuss additional Medical Services oversight costs for year one, raise pay for Brattleboro Fire Department members with certification by “3% EMT , 6% AEMT , 10% Paramedic,” and Brattleboro “will pay for the EMT, AEMT & Paramedic certification programs.” Chief Howard gives update: 31 calls so far, avg response time 3:15 (max 10 min). 7.25 avg calls per day. 22 people transported. No use of mutual aid or 3rd ambulance yet.
July 24 – Ads for new Brattleboro Town Manager position appear.
Aug 1 – Rescue, Inc announces opening of Vermont EMS Academy, VEMSA.
Aug 16 – Franz Reichsman asks for a deconstruction of what happened. Elizabeth McLoughlin tells public that she has no intention of explaining her decision and that the timeline starts on March 25 with the Rescue letter. Tim Wessel says the board can’t talk about contract disputes, Daniel Quipp says he can’t remember the decision-making and is happy he doesn’t think about it, and Jessica Gelter said that all her decision-making information had been made public.
September 7 – Claremont, NH hires Yoshi Manale as Town Manager.
September 12 – VT Digger reports that Brattleboro refuses to release documents related to the EMS decision requested through the state official public records process.
September 20 – Selectboard approves $50k contract increase with Golden Cross for 3rd ambulance and 24-7 AEMT. Moreland tells public analyzing what is being spent isn’t important now.
September 21 – Press release announcing AP Triton EMS survey. Deadline for submissions is October 31.
October 8-9 – AP Triton survey for BFD EMS study goes offline for much of the weekend, then returns to service.
November 23 – Reformer reports that Rockingham and Bellows Falls are unhappy with Golden Cross service and are courting Rescue Inc.
December 20 – AP Triton presents report with four primary options for EMS services to the Selectboard – negotiate contract with Rescue, create a fire-based system car/ambulance service, go with current arrangement, and fire based fully staffed service. Informs board that BFD is under national standards with low staffing.
December 30 – John R. Potter becomes Brattleboro Town Manager.
January 3 – Bob Oeser suggests board consider EMS Option 1, and mediation and negotiation with Rescue.
January 17 – Rescue Inc holds Consortium Meeting. Presents chart showing adjusted EMS costs. (click for larger version).
January 18 – VT Digger reports that Brattleboro Retreat signs a new contract, with Rescue, Inc. to “allocate one Rescue Inc. vehicle and crew entirely to the transport needs of incoming patients five days a week, between noon and 8 p.m”
May 2 – Town Manager John Potter outlines plan for “Fire EMS Transition Project” saying there will be lots of opportunity for public input. “When the proposals come in, we’d compare options on Sept 5 and bring all options back at a public forum at Sept 12 – a working session with the public to go over all alternatives to see what we are missing”
May 16 – Fire EMS discussion at Selectboard meeting starts after 8 pm.
July 25 – Selectboard meeting with public comment opportunity for EMS issues. Public comment begins after 8 pm.
August 15 – Selectboard meeting with public comment time for EMS issues. Public discussion begins after 8 pm.
September 5 – EMS meeting delayed then postponed due to BCTV tech issues.
September 7 – Liz McLoughlin says there are issues the board knows that the public does not, and that Rescue has been “controlling the narrative. ” She asks for discussion of the transition of care and intergovernmental coordination, interagency coordination by the town staff in recognition of consultation with the town attorney. Daniel Quipp and Peter Case agree, motion passes. Ian Goodnow tells board Town Attorney warned them not to discuss these matters in public.
September 12 – Town staff hold meeting to tell public why municipal EMS is best. Room filled with BFD employees. All department heads attend and read pre-written statements. HR director says a few words about Rescue and BFD issues. Public invited to talk at end of meeting.
September 17 – Town Manager reads memo as to why municipal system is best at Selectboard meeting, board members express their intentions to vote in favor, then the public is invited to comment. Chair Ian Goodnow admits he has regrets about the way the process was handled, especially at the beginning. Board votes for municipal Fire-EMS Transition.
** During 2020, 2021 and up until April 19, 2022 (ie, under the current board), there is no discussion of going to a Fire/EMS system or any mention of Rescue noted in minutes of Brattleboro selectboard meetings.