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Hampshire voters to consider ambulance levy on May 10 ballot

April 30th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News report the Hampshire County Commission is looking to establish a county-based EMS organization that would assist volunteers.

“Right now volunteers are struggling to get out on calls,” Brian Malcolm, the county's director of homeland security and emergency management, said.

Malcolm said volunteers are sparse compared to five to 10 years ago. “Nobody is beating the doors down to volunteer,” he said.

Many existing volunteers have a hard time leaving their jobs to run calls.

“We want to extend the seven-day-a-week, 12-hours-a-day response to seven days, 24 hours,” Malcolm said.

If voters approve an ambulance levy on the May 10 primary election ballot, more than $700,000 a year would be generated to cover salaries and benefits for 12 full-time employees, vehicle maintenance and fuel, officials said.

A response unit could also be established at each end of the county, Malcolm said.

“These will be county employees hired by the county commission,” he said.

Jerry Loudin, chief of operations for Hampshire County 911, said the center's call volume has increased expeditiously.

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