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Village Ambulance Service is a locally managed organization with deep roots and commitment to Williamstown, MA and its surrounding communities. We provide emergency (9-1-1) call response to the greater Williamstown area, and offer a wide range of medical transportation services from advanced life support to non-emergency transportation for a variety of consumers including hospitals, managed care organizations, skilled nursing facilities, communities, and you, our most valued customer.  

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Village Ambulance Adds Vans With Wheelchair Lifts

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff
09:24AM / Wednesday, July 01, 2015

 

Village Ambulance Service conducts a training session for the use of a wheelchair lift in one of its non-emergency medical transport vans.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Starting today, Village Ambulance Service will start transporting mobility-impaired clients as part of a new non-emergency medical transport service.
NEMT/wheelchair transportation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is available for medical and non-medical travel.
 
“There certainly are other services out there,” said Erwin Steubner, the president of the VAS Board of Directors. “We’d like to keep it local, home grown. It’s not going to be a huge financial benefit for us, but it’s a service we can provide the community.”
 
It is a service that grew out of a partnership between Village Ambulance and Williams College, which saw an increased need for transportation to the hospital, especially after nearby North Adams Regional Hospital closed in 2014.
 
“Their security folks were being swamped with calls,” VAS General Manager Shawn Godfrey said. “So they conracted with us.”
 
That agreement included the purchase of two vans. Village Ambulance foresaw the practicality of equipping each of those vans with wheelchair lift, and the college agreed to outfit the vehicles with the equipment, Godfrey said.
 
“As part of the bargain with them, they very generously agreed to let us use the two vans during the summer for community transport,” Godfrey said.”As we looked at … there’s a real need for this throughout the community year round. So we just purchased a third van so we can continue to provide community service even after the college starts in the fall.”
 
Although the service officially is being launched on July 1, a “soft opening” already already has drawn strong response, Godfrey said.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Clients can call ahead or email Village Ambulance to arrange a pickup, and the the service will help process insurance payment for those clients and trips — doctor’s appointments and physical therapy, for example — that qualify.
 
Village Ambulance is a Medicaid-qualified NEMT provider throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Vermont. Private insurance policies also may cover transportation, and VAS strives to offer competitive pricing for those who pay out of pocket, Godfrey said.
 
Before VAS decided to launch the program, it discussed the need with local medical providers, rehab centers and nonprofits.
 
“Southwestern Vermont Medical Center was delighted to hear we’re doing this,” Godfrey said. “They do have Green Mountain Transit, and I don’t want to take anything away from them. However, they run more of a fixed-loop system, whereas we’re on demand. You call us, and we’re up there in 20 minutes.
 
“And we want to run this 24/7. There is a need for that. The overnight is where they find the transportation gap. Like Green Mountain only runs until 5 p.m. If a patient has to leave at 7, they’ll have to send them by ambulance, and it gets more muddy. It becomes a question of, is it medically necessary?”
 
In order to expand its service to offer 24/7 NEMT, Village Ambulance has added employees. Adding the three vans to an already overtaxed Water Street facility has the service looking at off-site options for garage space.
 
“The ambulances have to be stored in a heated space under cover,” Steubner said. “The vans don’t necessarily need to be, but it would be ideal if they were.”
 
To inquire about Village Ambulance’s NEMT service, call, toll free, 1-844-303-7739.
 
Village Ambulance Service Outfits all its ambulances with Power Cots

The Power-PRO XT is an innovative battery-powered hydraulic system that raises and lowers the patient with the touch of a button. The industry-leading Stryker Power-PRO XT powered ambulance cot dramatically reduces strenuous lifting and the associated risk of back injury.

Stryker_Power_PRO_XT_with_SMRT.5453f6646efde

Village Ambulance Service Installs $15,000 in New Gear to Help with Transport of Bariatric Patients

By Scott Stafford, Berkshire Eagle

Posted:   01/05/2015 05:28:31 AM EST

Williamstown

To improve patient care and protect the safetyof emergency medical technicians, Village Ambulance has equipped a new ambulance with gear to allow safer transport of bariatric patients.

Bariatric medicine is the treatment of obesity and the health liabilities that come with it, and the ambulance service has been experiencing a significant increase in the number of bariatric patients needing transport.

“We have found that there are more patients requiring this kind of service,” said Shawn Godfrey, general manager of Village Ambulance. “We’re seeing about two patients per month that meet the body mass index definition of a bariatric patient. About five years ago, we were only seeing about one every six months.”

Transporting bariatric patients — who can weigh between 350 to 650 pounds and typically suffer from heart disease, diabetes or respiratory issues — presents a unique challenge for EMTs, usually requiring four to five crew members to safely move the patient in and out of a conventional ambulance, Godfrey noted. The new bariatric gear will allow the same work to be done by three crew members.

“We have always made accommodations for bariatric patients,” he said, “but retrofitting this ambulance will allow us to better meet their needs. It enhances the safety of patients and staff.”

The ambulance with the bariatric gear was delivered Friday, and will be on 24-hour active duty, Godfrey said. The gear consists of a winch, two ramps and a specialized stretcher built with a wider wheelbase and wider surface to handle more weight and larger dimensions. The cot also has extended push bars for easier, more stable navigation, and an “O” ring to connect with the winch.

Godfrey said that in under 60 seconds, the gear can be installed in the back of the ambulance patient compartment. With the winch cable attached to the stretcher, the patient can be towed up the ramp and into the ambulance with improved safety for both the patient and the EMTs.

The bariatric rig cost about $15,000, with $5,000 of it coming from an anonymous donor, Godfrey said.

“We’re always looking to expand our capabilities,” Godfrey said. “This is one more resource that Village Ambulance can now offer to our community and to nearby communities that may not be able to afford such a resource.”

The ambulance in which the bariatric gear is installed is also new, at a cost of about $90,000. That brings the number of ambulances used by Village up to four.

Village Ambulance responded to roughly 3,600 calls for service in 2014, Godfrey said, an increase of about 600 calls over 2013.