The Stage is Set
In the Spring of 2023, the Granville Volunteer Fire Department considered the scope of current emergency medical first response service provided to the towns of Granville, Hancock, and Rochester. White River Valley Ambulance has acted as the primary emergency medical transport service for our area since 2013. WRVA has provided first class paramedic ambulance service in that time and has worked well with our personnel toward the common goal of providing emergency medical care to those in our valley towns.
It was recognized that about 10% of medical calls in the tri-town area were being transported by agencies other than White River Valley Ambulance (WRVA). These situations typically occurred when emergency call volume was more than what WRVA could cover across the ten-town service area. These situations required our first responders to wait on scene (sometimes as much as 1-hour) with the patient until the second due ambulance could arrive.
It was also recognized that weather related events continue to hinder travel between Bethle (where WRVA is stationed) and the tri-town area. These facts considered, the GVFD initiated efforts to re-establish a local volunteer ambulance service to serve Granville, Hancock, and Rochester. These efforts began with the following goals:
- Establish a back-up emergency transport service covering Granville, Hancock, and Rochester
- Continue to provide emergency medical first response service with WRVA continuing to act as the primary transport service
- Establish revenue stream to support the expanded service
- Expand volunteer roster to support expanded services
- Strengthen the overall emergency medical response capability of District-8
- Maintain a non-competitive relationship with WRVA
The initial start date for emergency medical transport was set for the Summer of 2026.
Going the Distance
The initial purchase to kickoff the project was a used ambulance. The vehicle served a community around Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. The vehicle was driven from Sterling, Illinois back to Granville, Vermont (about 1,100 miles) and was placed into service as our emergency medical first response vehicle.
The driving force behind this service was always recognized as being the volunteers themselves. A volunteer roster of 28 is the goal to provide 24/7 coverage on a volunteer basis. With volunteer interest in the service growing, the current active membership stands at 20. We are also encouraging our members to pursue licensure as Emergency Medical Technicians. Three volunteers are currently enrolled in an EMT class with Mad River Valley Ambulance and are expected to be licensed in April 2024.
Choosing the Name
The governing board of the Granville Volunteer Fire Department wanted to establish a clear boundary for the scope of it’s duel missions. On one hand, the GVFD exists to provide fire and rescue services to the Town of Granville. On the other, emergency medical first response provides service to the towns of Granville, Hancock, and Rochester. To attract volunteers throughout the service area, to more clearly define our mission, and to recognize the past efforts of our community members to bring emergency medical services to our valley; we chose to don the original name of the ambulance service started in 1971. Valley Rescue Squad was reborn.
Two items were needed in addition to the equipment already carried by our first response personnel. A cardiac monitor, and a patient cot. Since the initial announcement of our intentions to establish a local ambulance, we have raised over $11,000 in donations. The two items are estimated to cost about $32,000. In November 2023, Valley Rescue Squad took delivery of a cardiac monitor and began training with the unit. A fundraising effort for the remaining $20,000 has been initiated to purchase the last remaining piece of equipment necessary.
If you are able to contribute to the cause and help us purchase a cot you may send donations to:
Valley Rescue Squad
5051 VT Route 100
Granville, VT 05747