Town of Woodstock Selectboard Approves New Paramedic Hire

Paramedic SealThe Town of Woodstock Selectboard tonight approved the hiring of Hartford Fire and Rescue’s Alan Beebe as its new part-time Paramedic and Woodstock Emergency Services Ambulance Training Officer.

Beebe serves as a First Lieutenant/Paramedic with the Hartford Department in White River Junction and has been with Hartford since 2001. He is closing in on 10 years as a certified NREMT-Paramedic.   Including service as a volunteer, with Hartland’s Volunteer Rescue Squad as well,  he has been with Upper Valley fire and rescue squads for almost 20 years.

In a letter and in interviews, Beebe told the Woodstock Selectboard he wishes to continue serving with Hartford Fire and Rescue but supplement that work helping out two to three days a week here in Woodstock.

The Woodstock position would be paid at an hourly rate commensurate with paramedic pay but would not provide health benefits.

Woodstock Selectman Bruce Gould, who has been involved with decision-making concerning Woodstock’s Ambulance Service for years and who once served as an EMT himself, said tonight of the decision to hire Beebe, “It seems like a good fit.It’s a good opportunity. He (Beebe) has the credentials. He knows everbody.”

Beebe lives in Hartland with his family and has said he would dial back some of his other “outside-of-work”  training commitments in order to make the new position work. He has been active throughout Vermont with a EMS training and response.

For the past few months, in the absence of  Woodstock’s former Paramedic/Ambulance Coordinator Patricia Cassidy, the town has operated without its own Paramedic, relying on what are known as “paramedic-intercepts” from neighboring towns– like Hartford —  in the small handful of cases where there has been a need.

The Selectboard had, in late winter, approved the idea of current highly trained and certified EMT ambulance staff sharing duties to keep Woodstock’s Ambulance department running.  Most of those  ambulance service volunteers, some of whom have been paid hourly for recent daytime staffing, have been with the Woodstock Ambulance Department and worked together for 15 years or more.

However, the Town of Woodstock voters several years ago asked for and approved monies to both train paramedics and hire them for the Ambulance Service.

Many voters expressed dissatisfaction recently that a “first-round” of applicants — just two —  were turned down for the job, including former Woodstock resident Robert Bees who had served both with Woodstock’s Fire Department and as an EMT and eventually trained up to the Paramedic level.

Paramedics provide Advanced Life Support for patients while en route to hospitals including the ability to administer highly regulated pain-killing drugs.

When asked about the common sense of hiring someone who already worked full-time hours, Woodstock Selectman Preston Bristow acknowledged the intensity of paramedic level work  but said the Town would be careful to make sure that the position was not too much for someone already serving in a fulltime job elsewhere.

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