The Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad has been providing emergency medical services to the Southern Berkshires since 1968.

Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad (SBVAS) announces that the State of Massachusetts has issued a license to SBVAS to provide EMS service at the Paramedic level of 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. SBVAS is pleased to announce that the State of Massachusetts has issued a license for SBVAS to function at that Paramedic level starting September 1, 2014.

This significant upgrade to the Paramedic level followed an analysis over the last number of years of the entire SBVAS operation by The Holdsworth Group – a national EMS consulting firm based in Connecticut. Current SBVAS President Neil Crawford and former President Bob Piernock both stated that over the last 3 years the collaboration among the current and previous Board of Directors of SBVAS, 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 provided by SBVAS.

In addition, the SBVAS Board voted last year to enhance its organizational and operational structure that resulted in the appointment of Paramedic William Hathaway as the service’s first full time Operations Director. Bill has over 22 years of experience managing EMS services in both New Hampshire and Vermont.

Over the last year SBVAS had partnered with County Ambulance to supply Paramedic service to the Southern Berkshire Region while it worked towards processing the necessary applications and obtaining the necessary equipment and advanced level personnel. Now, SBVAS will continue its long history of bringing EMS service by providing this advanced level of Paramedic service. This service will put a paramedic on duty 24/7/365 at the SBVAS headquarters on the campus of Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.

Dr’s Adrian Elliott and Ray Sabatelli, of the Fairview Hospital Emergency Department, said that they were pleased that the SBVAS Board moved to the Paramedic status to enhance the level of medical care to patients in the area. This new level of service will 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.

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