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Unfinished business on EMS calls

It’s hard to believe the lives of roughly 320 people who live in Deerfield is not worth $2,400.

That is the amount Tidioute officials are asking Deerfield’s supervisors to pay in order to provide fire services to Deerfield residents. The lack of agreement between Tidioute and Deerfield means Deerfield residents will have to wait for paid emergency medical services to arrive — which will of course take longer than the response time of a local volunteer fire department.

What’s happening in Deerfield and Tidioute — over $2,400 nonetheless — shines a new light on the EMS challenges Warren County Commissioner Ben Kafferlin and the Warren County Council of Governments have been working to resolve. Volunteer fire departments are overburdened during certain times of the day and trying to weave a web of EMTs to respond to medical calls in our rural county is getting more challenging by the month.

COVID-19 is the focus of attention at all levels of government right now. But we cannot let this EMS crisis fade away. It must remain one of our region’s priorities as we move into 2021.

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