Personnel/History

image1

PERSONNEL

SBVAS’s primary key to success is the practice of recruiting and retaining exceptional employees. We believe that our employees are our finest asset, and that each individual brings something unique to the organization. We know that our success depends largely on their skills, experience, hard work and commitment to our mission. Our combined roster of dedicated employees and volunteers staff our fleet of 3 advanced life support ambulances.

Staff:

  • EMTs: 23
  • EMT – Intermediates: 4
  • Advanced EMTs: 5
  • Paramedics: 7

Board of Trustees

  • Neil Crawford
  • Dennis Hogan
  • Bob Piernock
  • Brian Burke, MD
  • Richard Dohoney
  • Kim Kimball
  • James McGarry
  • Paul Negrini
  • Greg Ward

Director of Operations

William Hathaway


AT-A-GLANCE COMPANY STATS

Board of Directors: 9

Employees: 39

  • EMTs: 23
  • EMT – Intermediates: 4
  • Advanced EMTs: 5
  • Paramedics: 7

Ambulances: 3 (2 Type III & 1 Type ll)

Stations: 1


COMPANY HISTORY

Before the inception of the Ambulance Squad in 1968, Fairview Hospital was responsible for ambulance service in Southern Berkshire. In those days, there were no modular ambulances and very limited life support equipment. If an ambulance were required, the police notified the Nursing Supervisor and a maintenance man who doubled as a driver responded to the call. Time lapse between call and arrival could exceed 30 minutes. In addition, few of those sent on calls had emergency medical training.

On November 12, 1967, a bad automobile accident occurred in Egremont. Due to the dispatch system, the ambulance didn’t arrive for 40 minutes. This situation cast Fairview and its ambulance service into the public spotlight. Since the fire department couldn’t provide ambulance service, the organization of a separate Ambulance Squad was begun.

The Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad was officially organized on March 15, 1968 and incorporated in April of that same year. The first ambulance was donated by the American Legion Posts 127 and 298, radios were donated by the Lions Club, and Fairview provided a $10,000 grant to start construction of a garage and meeting room.

In 1973, several of the 46 members had completed the 81-hour EMT Course, and by the end of 1975, 85% of the Squad were Nationally Registered EMTs. During the late 70’s, emergency equipment and training were offered to police and fire departments in our service area. In 1980, SBVAS became an Advanced Life Support Service when several EMTs gained certification as EMT-Intermediates.

Throughout the 80’s, skills were enhanced, equipment upgraded and services extended. Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) were introduced during this period, and squad members became certified. In 1987, the first helicopter intercept protocols were developed. Today, there are three such services available to SBVAS, with response time no more than 20 minutes.

The 90’s were marked by dramatic events. With the help of community donations, the squad was expanded from a garage with just a single room attached to the larger facility that you see today. The Memorial Day Tornado in 1995, which left 3 dead and 23 injured, demonstrated the value of Mass Casualty Training. The 90’s also saw SBVAS respond to 5 plane crashes. Also during this period, EMT-Basics became certified to administer epinephrine injections, a true lifesaver for patients who experience swollen airways due to severe asthma, or allergic reactions to bee stings, food, or medications.

Today, SBVAS provides service to the largest geographic coverage area in Massachusetts. Towns served include Alford, Ashley Falls, Egremont, Great Barrington, Housatonic, Monterey, Mount Washington and Sheffield. Call volume averages about 2,900 per annum.