Ambulance services roll out improved service via merger |

Ambulance services roll out improved service via merger

Staff Report
Submitted photoMembers of the newly merged Silt and New Castle ambulance crew include, from left, EMT intermediate Beth Patterson, director Susan Taylor, ambulance crew captain Jennifer Abernathy, captains Michelle Rexach and Sheryl Shrull, and volunteer Jim Shrull.

They may not have come up with a new name yet, but crews for the newly merged New Castle and Silt ambulances are sure about consolidated service improvements.

“The Silt and New Castle people work very well with each other. We do what’s best for the people,” Silt Ambulance director Susan Taylor said.

The merger will boost manpower, equipment and expertise available to respond to New Castle area emergencies. The all-volunteer New Castle ambulance crew, not associated with the town of New Castle, has one ambulance, three drivers and six basic EMTs.

On the other hand, the Silt service operates under the town umbrella through enterprise funds and has personnel that staff the Silt station 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Silt maintains four ambulances with Advanced Life Support capabilities.

“I’m really excited about this; Silt can offer good quality EMTs and Advanced Life Support personnel,” noted New Castle captain Sheryl Shrull. “Silt has more people who have gone further in their education, more EMT intermediates and paramedics.” Silt has an ambulance crew of 40 volunteers who are compensated per run, with one new full-time paramedic.

Although interagency mutual aid agreements are common, the merger was necessary due to growth in the town of New Castle. Officials say the union is a big step toward what could become an ambulance service rolled into the local Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, which covers both Silt and New Castle.

Volunteer drivers with CPR training are welcome to join the ambulance service. Volunteer basic EMTs require six months of training. Call 984-0466 or 876-0510.

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