Fire – EMS Transition – Thoughts and Questions for 6/20/2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on June 20 at 5 p.m. (rather than the usual start time of 6:15 p.m.) in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center, 230 Main Street, and on Zoom.

EMS Revenue Recap:

April 11, 2022 Town Press Release: “After a careful internal analysis of the feasibility of the Fire Department taking on EMS …

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Comments | 3

  • I like this pair of quotes...

    “EMS Revenue Recap:

    April 11, 2022 Town Press Release: “After a careful internal analysis of the feasibility of the Fire Department taking on EMS …BFD [can] provide a high level of service after a year of transition, but it also makes financial sense. It is estimated that — the Town will see a $500,000 to $700,000 net gain in revenue. —We plan to propose that this additional revenue be invested in quality–of–life improvements for the people of Brattleboro.” [emphasis added]

    Minutes of May 16, 2023 SelectBoard Meeting (pg 4): [SelectBoard Chair] Goodnow asked how they’d respond to the statement that EMS doesn’t pay for itself. [Assistant Town Manager] Moreland said — EMS does not pay for itself and the Town understands that. — The question will be, are there additional expenses and will additional revenue offset the expenses? Goodnow asked if we’ll look at the costs. Moreland said in June we’ll show startup expenses and in July we’ll look at operating models and compare them to revenue. Quipp asked what the capital investments would be regarding startup expenses. Moreland said we have the operating model for the long term. [emphasis added]”

  • VT Digger digs

    Do read Kevin’s article in VT Digger:

    “An independent feasibility study conducted after Manale abruptly resigned eight weeks later not only debunked the former Brattleboro manager’s figures, but also found the town’s former provider, the private nonprofit Rescue Inc., was the most economical choice for maintaining current local coverage.

    In comparison, the study determined that a proposed Brattleboro Fire Department takeover would increase costs and bolster the town’s understaffed system of crisis response.

    Brattleboro leaders still have not shared any of the facts or figures that caused them to drop Rescue Inc. But the agenda for Tuesday’s selectboard meeting reports they plan to reveal estimated first-year start-up costs for a combined fire/EMS department that total $1.3 million to $1.9 million.

    In comparison, Brattleboro had signed a $285,600 annual contact with Rescue Inc. before the selectboard dropped the nearly 60-year agreement last year…..”

    Read it!

    • Rescue Contract

      One minor note since this has come up many times in various public conversations. Brattleboro had NOT signed a contract with Rescue. Former Town Manager Peter Elwell had indicated to Rescue that Brattleboro was going to sign the new 3 year contract that started at the $285K figure and that figure was put in to the 2023FY budget.
      But, when Manale came on he pretty much put an end to that and started playing games. No actual contract was signed by Brattleboro, there was just an understanding between the parties that everything would continue as in the past.

      It is always important to note that the NET cost for service to Brattleboro was $48K less than the contract rate because Rescue paid the town fees for dispatch. You can see the big fat zero in the income for the police department.

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