Editor's Note: This is part of a year-long series looking at volunteer firefighting and rescue squads in Rutland County.
Mount Holly is a small community by most American standards-it is has a population of approximately 1,241 residents. More than a dozen of those residents are volunteers for Mt. Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad, a BLS/ALS licensed service at the I-03 level. The squad rescue station is located at 26 School St. in Mt. Holly.
These exceptional volunteers ensure the safety of the communities of Mt. Holly, Belmont, and East Wallingford and provide mutual aid service to surrounding communities that may require assistance. last year, the squad was responsible for answering over 125 calls for help with medical and traumatic emergencies. However, volunteers spend more of their free time serving the community by participating in health fairs and other public health-related activities and events.
Recently, the squad began writing a local series titled "Chit Chat"; it discusses issues in emergency services and highlights the volunteer energy and commitment to EMS and achievements and attaining high-certification levels.
Like all volunteer squads profiled in recent months in the Rutland Tribune, the Mt. Holly Volunteer Rescue Squad is facing a major challenge in finding volunteers to be on call for daytime emergencies; this shortfall is a common occurrence among volunteer ambulance agencies nationwide. All of the volunteers work full-time jobs and sometimes and often hold down extra jobs to make ends meet in Vermont's seasonal, up-and-down tourist economy. Remember the old bumper sticker, "Moonlight in Vermont or Starve"?
Mt. Holly Rescue sponsored a free, first-responder course (the entry level position found in all emergency services) last spring. Due to the course's popularity, the department leaders began discussing another class for spring 2009. (For prospective volunteers interested in the course, contact Kristin Veysey at 259-2611 or Vicki Seward at 259-2810.)
In the near future, the squad plans to increase its membership; hopefully, the free classes will help fulfill that goal. The squad also plans to integrate more continuing education and training for the membership. This will help maintain certifications more easily and provide better care for local communities. As always, building and medical and other equipment renovations are always on the top of the list for improvements.
The Mt. Holly squad works diligently in their community. They volunteer more time in order to hold various events for the area.
According to volunteer Kristin Veysey, "Mt. Holly Rescue plans to hold an annual health fair that is a community oriented event. It will include EMS education, free safety supplies that change yearly, DHART landing and education, free chicken barbeque, and other fun activities. We also have our yearly fundraisers to look forward to, which include a monthly BINGO located at Mt. Holly School, annual pork dinner located at the Odd Fellows in Belmont, and our annual community mailing. We also have many public education events here and there that we attend to check blood pressures and health screenings. Considering we are a volunteer ambulance service, we are quite active in our community and plan to stay that way."