Town of Halifax, Vermont

January 23, 2013

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:01 PM at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno,  Joe Tamburrino, Brad Rafus, Jeff Delurey, Mark Perrigo, and Chris Mays.

The purpose of the special meeting was to open bids on the new town truck and then travel to Jacksonville fire station to meet with Whitingham Ambulance Service (at 7:00 pm).

Open Bids on Town Truck and Equipment

Delurey Sales and Service- N Hoosick, NY

1)      2013 Intl HD tandem cab and chassis $109,453.

2)      2014 Intl HD tandem cab and chassis $106,875 base plus $117,850 for automatic   transmission. April 1, 2013 delivery date.

Patriot Freightliner- Westminster, VT

1)      Freightliner 114 SD cab and chassis $101,911. Automatic transmission add $10,500.

2)      Freightliner 114SD cab and chassis with 14 ft side dump body in stock $182,250 (3yr warranty).

Clark’s Truck Center- Jericho, VT

1)      Intl Truck 7600- truck and equipment $179,990 (automatic with side dump in stock).


Viking Cives- Harrisville, NY

1)      Equipment $59,175. Reversing plow option in lieu of 1 way plow add $1,025. Delivery is 30-45 days from receipt of chassis.

HP Fairfield LLC- Morrisville, VT

1)      Dump body, plow, equipment $67,760. Reversible plow add $3,550.

2)      Dump body, plow, and equipment $68,830. Reversible plow add $3,550.

Bart Truck Equipment- West Springfield, MA

1)      14 ft dump body with plow and wing $74,391 (60 working days to complete).

Tenco- Barre, VT

1)      Body with plow, blades, and equipment $56,332 (valid for 30 days FOB Barre).

Rafus reported that the insurance company let him know that the buyout for salvage on the old truck is $5,400. The group had a discussion about the potential for re-building the truck. The insurance proceeds will be approx $102,500. Rafus discussed buying a complete truck now and ordering a chassis to build the second truck through the summer using the salvageable parts.

The meeting recessed at 6:44pm so the Selectboard could travel to Jacksonville, VT fire station to meet with Whitingham Ambulance Service, Inc. (WASI).

The meeting resumed at 7:00pm at the Jacksonville fire station. Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Edee Edwards, and Earl Holtz. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Lyman (Skip) Teftt, Christina Moore, Larry Kingman, Bill Moore, Aaron Massari, Dennis Pike, Larry Kingman, Stan Janovsky, Andy Rice, Ross Barnett, Melissa Green, Kathleen Sullivan, and Taiga Christie.

C Moore led a presentation on problems and possible solutions for emergency management services in Whitingham and Halifax.

Some of the challenges are:

-Population trends
-Property ownership
-Demands on EMS
-Profile of EMS

Windham County is aging and has one of the lowest average incomes in the state. The populations are more isolated, older, less wealthy, and there are fewer employers.

Property Trends
2010                1990

Halifax Property Count            642                  764
Resident Owners                        44%                 47%
Non-Resident Owners                        56%                 53%

There is a declining working age population, increased retirement age population, and fewer people available to volunteer.

Of WASI’s patients in 2012, 52% were over 65 years old, and 68% were over 55 years old. The majority of calls are for chest pain 14%, trauma 13%, falls 11%, and car accidents 10%.

It was noted that there has been a decline in the population under age 44 which is the key age group for volunteers.

As part of WASI’s conditional license, they must address the following:

-Staffing sustainability
-Crew configuration (2 licensed per run- at least one EMT and one EMR)
-Report to EMS D12 and VT Dept of Health- meeting minutes and efforts

There was a discussion about the differences between EMR’s and EMT’s and the amount of training required for each. It was noted that as long as you meet the State requirements of 1 EMR and 1 EMT, you can bill for Medicare/Medicaid.

WASI covers two towns and approximately 80 square miles. It has one full-time staff member and 13 on-call staff members.

140 Call Requests
115 in service area
8 calls Deerfield Valley Health
17 Mutual Aid
110 calls transported
56% required advanced life support (ALS)
There were 138 instances of ALS medications used. Patients depend on ALS during transport to the hospital.

Time to get ambulance out:
38% under 5 minutes
64% over 5 minutes
Average was 8 minutes
From 911 to ER door- approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes

In 2012 12% of patients went to Baystate (Greenfield, MA), 36% to Brattleboro, VT (BMH), and 51% to Bennington, VT hospital.

Call Time Distribution
37% Business Hours
31% Weekends
32% Weekday Overnight

New staff
-Require about 9 months training from start to license
-It takes approx 2 years to become proficient
-Costs about $1000 for training and exams

Staff Retention
-Bi-annual training minimum
-Training and travel costs
-Skill proficiency maintenance

There was a discussion about the challenge of having really no local employment that permits EMT’s to leave their job to respond to a call and then return to work when they are done.

WASI Membership
18 in 1966
34 in 1988
21 in 1990
9 in 2012
8 or less in 2013 projected

In 2012, nine people ran more than ten calls. It is predicted that there will be 140-160 calls in 2013.

Ambulance responds in an average of 3 minutes
Ambulance to scene on average 15 minutes
Ambulance to hospital average 60 minutes
Paramedic level service
100% compliance with licensing, paperwork, and training
A request that Rescue Inc cover Halifax was denied. A merger was requested with Deerfield Valley Rescue, but they are not interested and can’t cover Halifax.

Possible Solutions
Staff  7×24 with two licensed personnel
1 Paramedic or AEMT
Rent an apartment in Jacksonville for crew quarters
Increase community outreach with a community paramedic program and/or community service

The group had a discussion about paramedic level service.

WASI receives $14k from each town to pay one person’s salary to be here full time. This does not cover fuel, insurance etc for which they rely on donations and billings. Billings run $25k-$30k. They recently outsourced their billing which will save $500-600 per year. The payroll cost for 7×24 coverage is estimated to be about $340k per year. An Apartment rental would be about $12,000/yr. An approx $500k total budget would be required for 7×24 coverage.

The group had a discussion about the challenges of billing and insurance coverage and why the volunteer population is so low.

Edwards suggested that they present the story of what life would be like without the service. She also suggested tackling the issue from a political level and looking at VLCT municipal policies. Other ideas included talking to Windham Regional Commission and looking at the impact on other agencies (Deerfield Valley, Rescue Inc, Colrain etc). Holtz and Sumner supported Edwards idea to draft a letter to our representatives and sign it as a Selectboard.

C Moore discussed public meeting/hearings to raise awareness. The group discussed the challenges of training new volunteers including the number of hours of training required and the time it takes to become licensed. The hardest issue they face is how to get more staff. It was noted that they will not be able to resolve this issue in 90 days. It was noted that WASI trains a lot of people and then they leave to join other paid services.

Edwards expressed that as a Selectboard, they will need to know the #’s impact to Halifax and would like an opportunity to speak with the Whitingham Selectboard.

Next Steps:
-Have a meeting with Whitingham Selectboard and WASI officers
-Joint Selectboard meeting with Whitingham and Halifax including WASI officers
-Follow through on political effort (Edwards and C Moore)
-Include on the Halifax Town warning- Historical request for funding and budget for a possible second town meeting in Halifax and Whitingham
-Press release re: recruiting and funding
-Table at town meeting
-Post non-medical positions
-Use Halifax website (J Bruno), recruiting posters (Missy will prep), letter to the editor, sandwich boards
-C Moore will write a new report for the two town reports.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Halifax Selectboard Secretary