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Emmitsburg ambulance back in operation

(10/24) The Emmitsburg Ambulance Company (Station 26) is back on-line as the result of a unanimous vote of the county Board of County Commissioners. The county commissioners lifted the suspension at their October 23 meeting. Eric Smothers, president of the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Association (FCVFRA), stated that after a meeting with the FCVFRA’s executive board, it was agreed to recommend reinstatement of the company.

Smothers said the FCVFRA was still concerned about five students being listed as qualified responders. "Looking at the list they have provided they have five people that live within the required area. The other five are residents at the Mount, which, for the executive board, we still have a concerns over because those folks are not permanent."

Particularly, Smothers said the county commissioners should consider the following FCVFRA recommendations: Reinstate the ambulance company back to a Code 2-only status, "which means they would not be dispatched on the first primary call," reinstatement of the funding sources that had been held in abeyance when the company was suspended, reactivate the ambulance company on a probationary period with an unlimited timeframe, implement immediate suspension if they do not meet requirements or stipulations spelled out, and provide a quarterly "ten list" to the FCVFRA executive board as an update of the status of their ten list of qualified responder.

Smothers noted that, once the students went home or graduated, it could place the ambulance company in jeopardy. "These (five Mount students) are transient folks that do not support a permanent list, which I think, down the road, we will still have issues with Station 26."

During a recent visit to Ambulance Company, County Commissioner Kirby Delauter was shown the areas where the Company plans to house the Mount St. Mary’s students that volunteer at the Ambulance Company. "I think that is a great idea," Delauter stated, "this allows students to reduce their room and board costs of attending college while encouraging volunteerism within the community". Delauter also had high praise for newly appointed Director of Volunteer Services Chip Jewell, who, according to Delauter, "was able to be an integral part in assisting Emmitsburg Ambulance Company to comply with the ordinances and bylaws of the Volunteer Association." "I don't think Co. 26 is out of the woods yet," noted Dealuter, "but we are all working together to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed."

In commenting on the decision, County Commissioner Blaine Young said: "It is in Emmitsburg's, Frederick County and the tax payers’ best interest to do everything we can to help the Emmitsburg Ambulance succeed."

The Emmitsburg ambulance service was suspended in April of this year, primarily for the failure to maintain the necessary ten qualified responders. The board of commissioners subsequently voted on June 24 to extend the suspension for another 60 to 90 days, again because the failure of the company to produce a certifiable list of ten qualified responders.

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