BETHEL – Bethel Rescue is staying put.

At Monday’s Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee meeting, officials opted to remain with the local ambulance service rather than pursue service proposals from either PACE Ambulance of Norway, Med-Care Ambulance of Mexico or Tri-Town Ambulance of West Paris.

“We’re staying with our status quo ambulance,” said Town Manager Scott Cole.

“Despite our geographic remoteness, we have an adequate on-call system.

We have a good service, but it has chronic staffing problems, but we’re continuing to fight that head on.”

The town could only have round-the-clock, in-base coverage at a reasonable price if it gave up town coverage, Cole said.

“What we do have is good and its less expensive than what the other options were,” he added.

According to a spreadsheet Cole prepared for the Budget Committee, the net cost of service to Bethel would be $170,348 for PACE, $232,937 for Med-Care with an ambulance stationed at Bethel, and $46,172 for Tri-Town.

The net cost of service for Bethel Rescue, according to its proposed 2004 budget is $19,747.

Officials also looked at borrowing $150,000 to rehabilitate and expand Bethel Rescue’s ambulance barn at Main and Railroad streets by adding a training room, a day room and sleeping quarters. Bays will not be increased.

By doing this, the ambulance service’s proposed 2004 net cost of service would be $39,785, because it would include making the first $11,038 payment on the 20-year note, Cole said.

Pending selectmen and Budget Committee approval at their last budget meeting Monday, April 14, voting on the proposed ambulance building upgrades would be by referendum at town meeting elections on June 10.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.