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Officials await joint EMS proposal for Deerfield, Whatley, Sunderland

— On Nov. 14, the selectmen from Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland will finally see the details of a plan that could combine the towns’ emergency medical services departments.

The proposal by the Regional EMS Committee has been anticipated since the three towns decided in June to explore whether a combined ambulance service would quicken response time and provide better service. With a $15,000 grant from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, the towns hired consultant Bruce Baxter and Associates of Haverhill to guide the towns.

At the joint meeting, the EMS committee will present the potential budget for a tri-town service.

The budget could be the deal-breaker for the plan. In making the final decision, the towns will have to weigh costs against the quality of care.

If the towns do decide to team up, it will be the first regional EMS service in Franklin County, covering 69 square miles with a total population of 10,184.

The three towns expected the committee’s report on Oct. 1, but the committee requested more time to give the three town administrators — Lynn Sibley of Whately, Bernie Kubiak of Deerfield and Margaret Nartowicz of Sunderland — a chance to match possible budget costs to real figures.

The joint meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Deerfield Town Hall.

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