The Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad has been providing emergency medical services to the Southern Berkshires since 1968.
Full Time Paramedic Service comes to the South County Area.
Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad (SBVAS) announces new partnership with Pittsfield based County Ambulance Service to bring Paramedic level care to the Southern Berkshire Region.
SBVAS has been serving the Towns of Great Barrington, Mt. Washington, Monterey, Sheffield, Alford and Egremont for the past 45 years by providing both Basic and Intermediate level ambulance service.
This significant upgrade to the Paramedic level followed an analysis of the entire SBVAS operation by The Holdsworth Group, a national EMS consulting firm based in Connecticut.
The enhanced service will put a paramedic on duty 24/7/365 at the SBVAS headquarters on the campus of Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. The operational agreement was finalized with County Ambulance Service to provide Paramedic personnel, equipment and a paramedic intercept vehicle. As needed, the Paramedic will respond from the SBVAS headquarters to emergency requests. County Ambulance of Pittsfield will continue to provide both back up ambulance and paramedic service when additional resources are needed in the region.
"This agreement with SBVAS will continue the long history of excellent emergency care in the region and bring it to a new level" said Brian K. Andrews, President of County Ambulance Service. "The entire County team looks forward to this enhanced partnership with the SBVAS. County Ambulance Service has been providing ambulance service to the greater Central Berkshire County area for thirty-one years including twenty nine as a 9-1-1 provider to the City of Pittsfield.
Dr. Ray Sabatelli, the Fairview Hospital Emergency Department Director said "I was pleased that the SBVAS Board voted to move to institute the Paramedic program to enhance the level of medical care to patients in the area. This new level of service will also provide onsite personnel in the event that critical care patients need to be transferred from Fairview Hospital for additional care at Berkshire Medical Center and other Western Massachusetts hospitals.”
In addition to the County Ambulance joint venture, the SBVAS Board voted to enhance its organizational and operational structure by conducting a national search that resulted in the appointment of Paramedic William Hathaway as the service’s first full time Operations Director. Hathaway is a Gulf War veteran who retired after 22 years of service as an Avionics Flight Chief in the United States Air Forces. He has over 22 years of experience managing EMS services in both New Hampshire and Vermont.
SBVAS President Bob Piernock stated “The partnership among SBVAS, County Ambulance, Fairview Hospital and the Holdsworth Group worked extremely well to strengthen the EMS system in the region. Now, residents in Southern Berkshire County can count on the highest standard of pre-hospital emergency care”