Northshire Rescue Squad ambulance

Northshire Rescue Squad Board of Trustee President, Susan Howard (right), and Chief Operating Officer, Mike Casey (left), proudly showcase the new ambulance.

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MANCHESTER — The Northshire Rescue Squad has a brand new ambulance in the bay at the emergency services building in Manchester.

The new rig was added to the fleet of three in June. With coverage of Danby, Dorset, East Dorset, Manchester, Mt. Tabor and Lower Winhall, the new squad is necessary to maintain the reliability the area demands, said Susan Howard, president of the Northshire Rescue Squad’s board of trustees.

“Our seven-days-a-week, around-the-clock rescue service depends on a reliable fleet of three ambulances,” Howard said. “To meet this need, we continue to follow our long-term plan with our municipal government partners to rotate a new vehicle into service every three years.”

The new ambulance comes with a price tag of $203,000.

To cover this cost, the NRS relies on annual payments from the local municipalities, determined on a per-capita basis. The regularly scheduled fees gradually build up funds for the planned purchases.

The NRS also benefits by trading in the retiring ambulance, usually for the value of its parts. The new Ford ambulance can expect to be on the road for the next nine years. During that time it will log up to 200,000 miles in service of area residents.

The new ambulance includes one new feature that is expected to increase its operational efficiency.

“This ambulance runs on gasoline, said Mike Casey, NRS chief operating officer. “In recent years we’ve experienced nagging problems maintaining our diesel-fueled fleet. Not only do we expect to lower our repair costs, but we also benefit by keeping the ambulance out of the shop and on the road ready to serve. If all goes as planned, we will continue the transition from diesel to gasoline vehicles with future purchases.”

Casey is also pleased that the new ambulance comes with a hydraulic lift.

The most demanding physical task for Emergency Medical Technicians is making the final lift of the patient, on a stretcher, into the ambulance.

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“We’ve been looking forward to adding lifts to all our vehicles for a long time,” Casey said. “We’re currently seeking funding to add lifts to existing ambulances, so it’s nice to have a vehicle arrive with a lift already installed. I think I speak for all our EMTs when I say my lower back is already feeling better.”

Another way the Northshire Rescue Squad raises funds to provide its life-saving services is through its annual subscriptions.

The time to renew is now as the current year ends July 31 and the new year begins Aug. 1.

For a single $110 fee, all expenses incurred for the Northshire Rescue Squad is covered for all listed members of y our household.

That fee is about what the co-pay would be for someone with good health insurance for an ambulance ride.

And, whether you have health care insurance or not, the subscription program covers 100 percent of the cost of NRS emergency medical services for one year.

The staff at NRS runs a tight ship, but funding is a continuous challenge and the subscription program is “critical to the funding of our non-profit organization” the service said in a news release.

The fee not only covers your household in case of a need but it also ensures ambulance service remains available to residents of the Northshire and beyond rather than relying on ambulances out of Rutland or Bennington.

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