Letter: Rescue squad needs more funding
We at the Mathews Rescue Squad have worked very hard to provide the county with the excellent level of service that it deserves. We are encouraged that the citizens of Mathews recognize our level of commitment. As an example of our continuing efforts to improve, in March the squad for the first time was able to reduce its average response time below 12 minutes—that’s the time it takes us to reach you at your home from the time that you call 911.
This level of service, however, does not come for free. The face of volunteerism in our country and in our county is changing. The rescue squad has had to hire more and more paid personnel. No longer can we base our service on dedicated volunteers—although we still have many of those.
With over 1,000 calls per year, and an older population, the rescue squad needs more support, not less.
I estimate that the rescue squad’s payroll costs will rise by more than $50,000 in the next fiscal year. At the same time, the administrator’s proposed budget cuts the county’s level of support by $50,000.
I hope the citizens of Mathews County will agree with us that cutting our county budget in the face of rapidly rising costs will not support our mission of constantly improving our service.
Dave Burns, Treasurer
Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad