Safe at home

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A trained, qualified, properly equipped ambulance service is not a luxury. It's a necessity of modern life, particularly in rural hilltowns where emergency rooms are at least half an hour's drive away. So we are glad that the Manchester Rescue Squad and the five towns it serves have come to an agreement on how taxpayers can help the nonprofit independent ambulance service and its emergency first responders move into the future on a sound financial footing.The agreement reached between the rescue service and the towns of Manchester, Dorset, Danby, Mt. Tabor and Winhall will do just that. It recognizes that Manchester is the largest user of the service, while still providing the other four towns with representation and a say in how the service will be funded. It compensates Manchester for the value of space at the public safety complex and dispatch services. And by doing so, it provides transparency to the other four towns as to what that service actually costs.Instead of approaching the towns individually for funding to offset operations costs, the rescue squad can now plan its fiscal future with confidence, knowing what the contribution from each town will be and how much it needs to raise from the community, as it always has, to provide emergency medical services. It can now budget for equipment purchases with confidence, rather than hoping one of the member towns has the bonding capacity and the will to help it buy new equipment.This isn't just an exercise in foresight and good government. It's a quality of life issue, and sometimes a mater of life and death. The residents of the Northshire can be glad and proud that the leaders involved got it right.


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