To the Adirondack Journal:
In regards to the Feb. 1 article in the Post-Star about Thurman EMS — It’s disheartening that so much unsubstantiated information could be printed as news, without the necessary fact-checking which should accompany such accusations.
The Thurman EMS did not “shut its doors” leaving a situation that would “endanger someone’s life.”
In fact, the very day this article was published, Thurman EMS responded to a call that night with a volunteer EMT and driver.
A vote had been taken to close the squad in the near future due to financial difficulties, and the squad was waiting until after the Town Board meeting Feb. 12, hoping for a miracle. A volunteer EMT is still stationed at the building to take calls.
The article states Jean Coulard said the squad’s “few remaining members” voted to shut the doors and stop responding to calls. Note that we have the same number of members — the only people we lost were several paid EMTs who left after we could no longer afford their payroll expenses.
For Evelyn Wood to say that she was caught off guard when asked about the lack of coverage, I must say that she was definitely aware of the situation — it was discussed at several town meetings. Thurman EMS has been trying to negotiate with her for months. She offered the squad only enough money to cover the final ambulance payment to the town, and that she did only because of how the contract was written. Net operating funds allocated for Thurman EMS in 2012 was zero. She has never tried to “get them into negotiations”. There was never any discussion about alternatives.
At one town meeting, I asked what would happen when someone called 911 if Thurman EMS closed down. I asked if we would be the first town in Warren County without an ambulance service. I asked if she had a contingency plan for this. I told her I couldn’t fathom a town without an ambulance. Check the board minutes, which are available on the Internet.