Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro Fire Department Gets Their EMS Service

selectboard sept 19 2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard will be using $1.3+ million of ARPA funds to set up a municipal EMS system. The vote was unanimous to give the emergency medical services ‘contract’ to the Brattleboro Fire Department.

The Town Manager told the board why municipal EMS would be best, the board told the public their decisions as to why they would vote in favor, and then the public was allowed to weigh in with comments.

Bullock Street Closure

On Wednesday, September 20, Utilities Crews will be working to repair a road box at the intersection of High ST and Bullock ST.  The work will take place between 7:00am and 11:00am.  During this time, Bullock ST will be closed and motorists should plan to use alternate routes.

High Grove Parking Lot Light Poles

One of the light poles on the back side of the HighGrove lot was struck by a vehicle and had to be removed.  Due to this damage all lights along the back wall of the lot are out of order. Local electricians will be working to secure and install replacement parts. Expect the lights to be out and the lot to be unlit until further notice.

Senior Center Rescinds Petition Ban

Town of Brattleboro Rescinds Warning

After hearing that Kathryn Turnas, a volunteer at the Brattleboro Senior Center, was ordered to stop collecting signatures on a petition opposing the Town of Brattleboro’s recommendation to the selectboard to approve of a municipal EMS system and to instead support Rescue Inc., Steven K-Brooks sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any law, rule, regulation or other document which forbids Turnas from engaging in the constitutionally-protected activity which she had been pursuing.

The messages pasted below (each sent via email) tell the story:

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – September 19, 2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard has one item on the agenda for discussion at their next regular meeting: whether or not to accept the recommendation of Town staff to proceed with a municipal EMS system, or to support a regional system favored by others in the community. During last week’s public forum, the public was encouraged to attend and comment at this selectboard meeting.

You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.

Brattleboro Fall Water Main Flushing Schedule

Utilities Division crews will start Fall Flushing of the Town water mains on Friday, September 22 and continue through Friday, October 13.  Occasional daytime flushing will continue throughout the week of October 6 through 13..  

Customers are asked to check the flushing schedule closely as flushing may cause water discoloration, low water pressure and in some areas, intervals of no water.  Users who experience a short period of discolored water or air in the water lines after flushing is complete should run the cold water for a few minutes to clear the lines.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – Former Chair Decides Now Is Time To Reveal Longstanding Fire-Rescue Relationship Issues

sb sept 7

Well, well, well. The Brattleboro Selectboard has decided at the last moment that it would be good for them to explain to the public all the secret EMS BFD Rescue relationship information they have known about, information the public has asked them about for over a year and half and the board has remained steadily tight-lipped about. Until now.

Former Chair Liz McLoughlin cracked and said she wouldn’t let Rescue, Inc. control the narrative anymore, and that she wanted a meeting to reveal everything the board knows that the public has been kept in the dark about by her and her fellow board members. Chair Ian Goodnow warned the board that the town attorney told them they should not discuss these secrets with the public, but they voted to hold a special meeting anyway. The plan is to let the public know all the reasons that Rescue and BFD don’t get along.

This throws the public forum and decision-making meeting dates into question.

Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 6:15pm in the  Selectboard Meeting Room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center (230 Main Street). Prior to the special meeting, at 5:15pm, the Board will convene and is expected to immediately enter into executive session to discussion contracts. Invited into the executive session are the Town Manager and the Assistant Town Manager. No action will be taken in executive session. The public may also participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – The Meeting That Wasn’t

sb sept 5

The Brattleboro Selectboard got off to a late start then quickly put their meeting on hold for technical reasons.  Forty-five minutes later, the meeting was postponed until Thursday to give BCTV and Facebook time to fix themselves.

Those interested in discussing EMS and downtown safety will have to wait.

Belmont Avenue Water Main Replacement

On Wednesday, September 6, the Utilities Division will be replacing a water main on Belmont Avenue.  During this project, Belmont Avenue will be closed between #107 and #114 Belmont Avenue.  The work is scheduled between the hours of 6:30 am and 5:00 pm. Emergency Services and residents will be able to access #107 and lower numbers from Canal Street and #114 and higher numbers from Maple Street.  Motorists should seek alternate routes.

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – Sept 5, 2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard will be spending most of their first regular September meeting discussing town safety and EMS options for Brattleboro. They will review the EMS proposals received and learn about EMS insights from other communities. They’ll also discuss wrapping up the process, holding a public meeting, and then making an EMS decision.

Twelve items are packed into the consent agenda – a possible record, and good thing!  You may bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.

Brattleboro Committee Meeting Agendas

The Brattleboro RTM Human Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 4:00pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street).

The Brattleboro Tree Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 4:15pm in the Hanna Cosman Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street).

Brattleboro Labor Day Closures

In observance of Labor Day, all Town offices will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2023, with the exception of emergency services. Parking is free at all metered spaces and in the pay-and-display lots on Sunday, September 3, and Monday, September 4. All other violations will be enforced.

Brooks Memorial Library will be closed on Sunday, September 3, and Monday, September 4.

Two Private Ambulance Proposals Received by Town of Brattleboro

The Town of Brattleboro has been exploring its options for providing Fire-EMS services. In addition to considering a fully municipal Fire Department approach, the Town has received two proposals from private companies to compare. The Town is thankful to both companies for putting together thoughtful and thorough proposals.

American Medical Response of Springfield, MA proposed a turn-key approach that would not require any first response services from Brattleboro Fire Department staff. They would dedicate multiple ambulances to respond within the town to meet desired response times.

Rescue Inc. of Brattleboro, VT proposed an approach like the Town’s previous model that shared emergency response responsibilities with the Brattleboro Fire Department. They would rely on Brattleboro Fire Department paramedics and EMTs to respond to priority one calls, such as cardiac arrests and vehicle crashes, with the private company responding to all other types of emergency calls and transporting the priority one patients. Rescue Inc. would utilize multiple ambulances that are deployed across the fifteen towns that the company serves.

Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting – Aug 30, 2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 5:00pm. They will convene in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street) and are expected to enter immediately into executive session to discuss contracts. Invited into the executive session are HR Director Sally Nix, Finance Director Kimberly Frost, Town Manager John Potter and Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland. Once they have exited executive session, the Board is expected to immediately adjourn. No action will be taken.

Brattleboro Notice of Water Service Interruption

Crews are working to repair damage to a fire hydrant and water main on Maple Street at Canal Street as a result of an accident. During this emergency repair work, several residences in the area were without water while the water flow was controlled. The water is now restored throughout Town. The entire water system was stirred up causing discoloration in some sections of Town. 

You may experience discolored water or air in the water lines for several hours now that the repair is complete. Running the cold water should clear the lines if this happens.  

Green Street Closure


On Monday, August 28, the Utilities Division will be installing a manhole at the intersection of Green Street, Garden Drive and Church Street.  During this project, Church Street will be closed and Green Street will be closed from Bullock Street to High Street.  Residents will be able to access their homes and may choose to utilize Retting Place for access, also.  The work is scheduled between the hours of 6:30 am and 4:00 pm. Motorists should seek alternate routes.