WHITINGHAM -- The ambulance service that disbanded in the spring has just finished dividing its assets and establishing where certain funds would go.
Halifax EMS Chief and former Whitingham Ambulance Service Inc. President Christina Moore told the Reformer that the decision to donate WASI's capital funds to Whitingham Rescue and Halifax EMS came after WASI board members sat down and looked at their options.
"Two things happened," said Moore. "First, we had to wait for a cycle to mature to take out (the funds) without penalties or fees. We did that then sat around a table and tried to figure out the best way to keep the money in the community."
On Aug. 20, it was announced that the WASI board had authorized the donation of the capital fund to the two rescue services in the two towns where WASI formerly served.
Both agencies, Whitingham Rescue and Halifax EMS, will receive $17,000 each through the donation.
"It made sense to donate to the rescuing squads still continuing to serve our communities," said Moore.
The capital funds were investments made with money originally raised by WASI throughout its years of service. WASI was founded in 1966 as a non-profit emergency medical and ambulance service with a mostly volunteer staff.
Since May, Deer field Valley Rescue has taken over the ambulance coverage in Whitingham and Halifax, which WASI had previously been responsible for. In the same month, WASI donated its operating fund, its only ambulance and various medical equipment to Deerfield Valley Rescue.
"These funds and equipment were part of an agreement to provide continuity of service to Halifax and Whitingham," stated a press release from WASI.
WASI's license was suspended due its long response times and the ambulance service ran on a conditional license, which expired on June 30. The press release cited "a decade of declining volunteer membership and increased costs to operate," which made it difficult to comply to changing regulations.
On April 1, before WASI stopped its services, selectboards from Whitingham and Halifax met to discuss a contract with Deerfield Valley Rescue. Community members and emergency responders wanted to reach an agreement before WASI disbanded. It was understood that corporate dissolution would take more time.
At that meeting, WASI's lawyer Jeff Spencer told both selectboards that it would take 6 to 12 months to dissolve.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.