Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Sunderland to vote tonight on regional paramedic ambulance service

The proposed South County Emergency Medical Service would have a 24/7 service covering the 66 square miles of the three southern Franklin County towns. A primary ambulance would be based at the South Deerfield fire station with a backup at the Sunderland Public Safety Complex until the towns find a permanent home.

The special Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Sunderland Elementary School.

The Sunderland meeting is the second among the three towns. Whately voted to join the regional service this week. Deerfield will vote on Oct. 28.

Residents will be asked to enter into an inter-municipal agreement with Deerfield and Whately to establish the regional EMS. Then, they will be asked to pay $155,366 for their share of the service. Deerfield’s share is $255,488, while Whately’s is $83,735.

The projected full-year budget for July 2014 to June 2015 would be $749,595. The individual town assessment is $235,972 for Sunderland.

The current EMS cost for Sunderland is $156,889. The town is now served by a part-time volunteer ambulance with backup from other towns and Baystate Health Ambulance.

In Sunderland, the service would add 21 cents to the tax rate. The approximate annual impact for a $275,000 home is $57.75.

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