BETHEL MAINE HISTORY—THE BETHEL JOURNALS—BETHEL AMBULANCE SERVICE

Bethel Ambulance Service—established 1975

August 3, 2010

 

Bethel Ambulance Service is run by trained, dedicated citizens.  For over 36 years it has been a publicly operated service. Recently Cheryl Bennett, Director of the BAS, and David Pratt one of the service’s Paramedics gave me a tour of the center and their newest ambulance.  They would like to see others come for the same kind of tour I received.

Mr. Pratt wrote a nutshell summary of how he sees the ambulance capabilities: “A modern ambulance is a rolling ER (Emergency Room) and has direct contact with ER doctors.  Modern EMS providers treat everything from a cut on the finger to heart attacks and everything in between. – minor surgery to help people breath, from choking to trauma; restart hearts that have stopped; shocking hearts that beat too fast and five medications for various medical emergencies”.

Mr. Pratt has been with Bethel Ambulance Service 15 years. He is employed full time by the Portland Fire Department and a part time paramedic in Bethel.

On board supplies for an ambulance include 120 items ranging from stuffed animals, bottled water and band-aids to an OB kit and catheters.  Additionally the ambulance “med box” holds another 40 items.

Mrs. Bennett took me on a walkthrough of the center itself. There are four main sections. One for training, a combination lounge and work area for online reporting, two bedrooms for on duty members who live over six miles away, a director’s office plus bathrooms and a small kitchen. Large wall closets in the training room are loaded with supplies for ambulance use.

There have been six directors since the ambulance service was created: John Greenleaf, Laura Pialock, Florence Merrill, Arlene Greenleaf, Dustin Howe and Cheryl Bennett.  For the 1975 report, Mr. Greenleaf wrote: “The Bethel Ambulance Service went into service on April 1, 1975, with a vehicle loaned to us by the Miller-Meteor Sales while our new unit was being made ready for us. After much delay caused by labor strikes at the Wayne Corporation Plant where our unit was being made, delivery was made on July 17. We made the first run with the new unit within a half hour after delivery.

During the period April 1 through December 31, we responded to 103 calls. This projected over a 12 month period would be about 138 calls—18 more calls than the high expected. By comparison, from April 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, the service made 243 runs.

The Bethel Emergency Ambulance and Rescue Service — a non-profit service organization — supplies the Bethel Ambulance Service with licensed attendants and manages the service. The attendants, in teams of two, are on call in 12 hour shifts, 6 a. m, to 6 p. m. and 6 p. m, to 6 a. m. The area is very fortunate to have these men and women who have given so much of their time, not only in being on call, but in training and giving aid when needed.”

Elwyn Dickey was town manager when the service was formed.  For ten years housing the service was a problem. First it was at the fire station, then in a rented space at the SAD 44 bus garage. In 1985 when Rodney Lynch was town manager a new garage on Cross Street was approved and occupied in October 1985. In 1992, BAS received approval to operate at the Paramedic level. On September 19, 1995 the ambulance building was moved from Cross Street to Main and Railroad Street where it stands today. After the move and before it was occupied, a lot of work was done to the building by George Olson and crew.  Madeleine Henley was town manager and the Bethel Station development project was in full swing.

 

 

First Annual Report of the new Ambulance Service

Bethel Ambulance Service

This report covers the first 9 months of your new am­bulance service.

The Bethel Ambulance Service went into service on April 1, 1975, with a vehicle loaned to us by the Miller-Meteor Sales while our new unit was being made ready for us. After much delay caused by labor strikes at the Wayne Corporation Plant where our unit was being made, delivery was made on July 17. We made the first run with the new unit within a half hour after delivery.

During the period April 1 through December 31, we res­ponded to 103 calls. This projected over a 12 month period would be about 138 calls—18 more calls than the high ex­pected. The Bethel Emergency Ambulance and Rescue Service — a non-profit service organization — supplies the Bethel Ambulance Service with licensed attendants and manages the service. The attendants, in teams of two, are on call in 12 hour shifts, 6 a. m, to 6 p. m. and 6 p. m, to 6 a, m. The area is very fortunate to have these men and women who have given so much of their time, not only in being on call, but in training and giving aid when needed.

A special note of appreciation should go to the people at Clukey's Pharmacy for their dedication in serving as the primary dispatching service during the hours of 9 a. m. to 11 p. m., seven days a week,

We have two attendants that are Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-A). Three more attendants will have completed the 81 hour course by the time this report is published.

The income from the ambulance service has been slow coming in, largely because of the unwarranted amount of red-tape involved in doing business with Medicare (Federal) and with Medicaid (State).

The Bethel Emergency Ambulance and Rescue Service has received several donations from various organizations

and individuals. These donations have been used to pur­chase new equipment for the ambulance.

We would welcome the opportunity to show to any citizen of the area, the ambulance and equipment and to answer any questions you may have in regards to the service.

Respectfully submitted,

JOHN S. GREENLEAF Ambulance Service Manager

 

 

 

 

Bethel Ambulance Service—1975.  John Greenleaf, Director, Tom Caton, Florence Merrill, Arlene Greenleaf, Albert Raymond, Craig Davis.

Bethel Ambulance Service headquarters and  readiness building 2010.

Living room for on-duty personnel.

Looking inside the mini ER of Bethel Ambulance Service’s newest ambulance.

The attendant seats have airbags but what is new for this vehicle is a special type of seat belt that allows some freedom for attendants to work but the attendant is more securely protected.

Lounge area and online reporting desk in the Bethel Ambulance center.

Training room at the Bethel Ambulance center

Director’s Office

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE EMERGENCY SUPPLIES STORED AT BETHEL AMBULANCE SERVICE

Po Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

www.thebetheljournals.info

Training session at the ambulance service 1977