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Disbanded squad hopes to sit down with town, county

Strasburg volunteers want to resume service, concede they will need help

By Elizabeth Wilkerson -- ewilkerson@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Representatives of the Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad want to sit down with town and county officials to work on a plan for providing emergency medical services in northern Shenandoah County.

At Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors' public safety and code committee, squad President Doug Mowery Jr. said the organization, which wants to resume its service, had a roster for the next two months. The squad realizes it will still need "24/7" help from the county, because "we always have that second and third call," he said.

The squad would like to meet with representatives of the Board of Supervisors, Strasburg Town Council and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue to try to form a plan for providing EMS coverage that will be best for the county, he said.

"We have some ideas, but we feel that if we all sit down at the same table, we feel it would be better," he said.

And, the squad is interested in trying to get the merger meetings with Strasburg's fire department started again, he said.

"We want to get out and help in the community," Mowery said. "We wanted to work on any differences or any kind of problems, work on them along the way, but let's get them moving."

District 5 Supervisor Dennis Morris said having a plan from the organization would "go a long ways." District 6 Supervisor Conrad Helsley said he would attend the meeting Mowery suggested, and he thought Strasburg Mayor Tim Taylor would, as well.

On April 14, the Board of Supervisors voted to shut down the squad for consistently failing to provide enough volunteers to run emergency calls. On the same day, the county filed a complaint in Shenandoah County Circuit Court asking that the squad's assets be handed over to the county and a receiver be appointed for them.

In May, the board approved a resolution that county attorneys "nonsuit -- but not dismiss" the complaint. The resolution said any organization, including the shuttered squad, could make proposals on providing "reliable" EMS service.

A list of discussion points presented to Mowery by county officials Tuesday outlines what the county is looking for in a proposal from the squad.

Officials would like to see, in writing, a duty roster of active providers and their training credentials; a roster of the agency's officers and their responsibilities; a duty roster that identifies when coverage will be guaranteed and a plan to ensure that coverage will be maintained; and what kind of financial help, insurance, and career staff support the EMS agency would expect from county government. The county is also looking for short- and long-term action plans from the organization.

On Thursday, Mowery said he hadn't yet "digested" all of what the county is looking for in a coverage proposal, but "a lot of the things ... we were already working on."

"I think with this meeting that we're having, it can be explained further and we can work on it," he said. Officials are looking at the middle of September, but a meeting date has not yet been set, he said.

At that meeting, the group will "hopefully formulate a workable plan that's agreeable to all parties," he said.

"We want it to be good for the community," he said. "That's the main thing."

Staff writer Sally Voth contributed to this story.




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1 Comment



4volunteers

My hat is off to Mr. Mowery and all of the volunteers at Strasburg Rescue Squad. This group of volunteers appears to be working hard to formulate a plan and re-group; all of the things that the county has asked for up until this point. Mr. Mowery is quoted as saying "we want to get out and help the community." What a great attitude considering all of the negative things that were said about them by county reports-they still want to help.

If the Strasburg Rescue Squad provides all of the information listed above and is still not allow to run calls, what a sad situation for the people of Strasburg. For the people of Strasburg not to have the Strasburg Rescue Squad members to assist them in need when others are already on a call is very sad.

We have had these members go through months of being told they are not needed when clearly that is not the case considering the LONG runs to the hospital Mr. Yew is now noticing. Wouldn't it be great for the county to know that there is an ambulance still in Strasburg and ready to respond if another call comes in...Oh wait! There is 3 ambulances in Strasburg ready to answer calls and the county states they are not needed-that doesn't make sense.

It appears that some of the supervisors are ready to speed up the process of gettting Strasburg Rescue Squad up and running quickly; wonderful job Mr. Morris and Mr. Hensley. I am sure that this last ditch effort to 'clean-up' your record and race to reclaim your supervisor seat will be remembered when I go to the polls.

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