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Rescue squad makes plea for additional funds

Facing mounting costs and a budget deficit, the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad made a plea for an additional $40,000 in county funds on Tuesday night during the Mathews County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Spokesman Ron Lambert told board members that, because of increasingly burdensome training requirements that are discouraging volunteers, the number of paid medics running calls is now more than double the number of volunteers. Out of 21 medics, he said, only six are volunteers.

Not only that, but while insurance billing that the squad instituted several years ago has made a major difference, about 42 percent of calls are not billable to insurance. For example, he said, sometimes an elderly person falls and just needs help getting back up, or a patient refuses help, or a call is cancelled.

While insurance billing once covered 68 percent of salary costs, said Lambert, during the past year that coverage dropped to only 58 percent.

Fortunately, said Lambert, the squad’s paid p...

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