From: The Village of Sherburne & Sherburne Fire Department:
If you’ve kept up on the national and local news you know that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are in trouble, especially in rural areas.
Usually the discussion is about the lack of personnel and that is an issue nationally as well as locally.
But another issue locally is the cost of maintaining and replacing ambulances on ever-tightening municipal budgets.
Local Emergency Squads were staffed in the past with volunteers but as the number of volunteers dwindled, Sherburne, as others did, moved to paid staff.
Many other squads in the area closed their doors leaving the remaining Squads, like Sherburne, to cover ever increasing geographic areas.
Within the last two years Sherburne has partnered with Columbus and Smyrna to help offset the costs for maintaining the ambulances, which are driving ever increasing distances for each call, but it is not enough.
We have looked to the County in the past for help and the discussion continues but without any certainty there, we cannot wait.
The Village of Sherburne operates two 2010 ambulances.
The Village is undertaking a Fundraiser to replace the ambulance that has become problematic and unreliable.
It was purchase used in 2015 to replace a 2006 that suffered a premature failure. In 2020 alone $6,000 was spent on it to repair a fuel leak, glow plug, and fuel injector, rebuild the front-end suspension, and replace the rear bumper which fell off due to rust.
The check engine and ABS lights are always on and cannot be repaired.
The expected cost of replacement is $150,000.
Our call volume continues to increase in our district and the other districts we cover as well as the mutual aid we provide for our neighbors
A few years ago the Squad responded to about 450 calls and in 2020 it 620.
Both ambulances are sometimes out on calls at the same time, so it is imperative that we keep both in service.
While this fund drive initiative will not solve all the EMS issues that rural Chenango County and rural areas around the nation are experiencing, it will help us continue to operate until a sustainable solution is reached by all stakeholders.
Thank you for considering us in your giving plans for 2021.