Update: Delavan Rescue Squad closing?
DELAVAN Is the Delavan Rescue Squad in need of resuscitation?
The facility at 1436 Mound Road in Delavan is slated to close at the end of March, said Denise Pieroni, the administrator for the City of Delavan.
Pieroni said the city and board members of the Delavan Rescue Squad--one of only a handful of private, nonprofit paramedic services in the state--have been meeting lately to figure out a plan to prevent the closing if possible, but she declined to go into specifics.
"We're looking at some options and they're looking at some options, in terms of cooperation," Pieroni said, adding that the rescue squad is committed to maintaining an ambulance with paramedic services until the end of March.
Messages to the operations manager at the Delavan Rescue Squad and Steve Anderson, the president of the Delavan Rescue Squad's board were not returned.
Cathy Mestan, who handles public relations for the Delavan Rescue Squad, said she's hopeful board members and the city will find a solution.
"I'm not a quitter," Mestan said, referring to the closing. She declined to comment further until she met with board members Monday.
The Delavan Rescue Squad, a volunteer and paid rescue squad founded in 1941, provides 911 emergency response services for the City of Delavan and Richmond Township. and handles paramedic intercepts and medical facility transfers for communities in Walworth County. It is the only paramedic rescue squad in Walworth County, and serves as a CPR training center.
Monday's chatter on Facebook about a possible closing was enough to surprise many who use the squad’s service.
“This just came out of the blue,” said Rich Gruber, vice president of Mercy Health Systems, which operates facilities in both Rock and Walworth counties.
Gruber said Delavan Rescue Squad makes trips to Mercy Walworth Hospital and Medical Center in Lake Geneva regularly.
Town of Richmond Clerk Barbara Ceas said the town had recently renewed its contract with Delavan Rescue Squad for 2013.
Ceas said she’d received a call Monday from someone at another ambulance service, but she couldn’t remember the company's name.
“That person called me this morning and said they were considering an offer to purchase the Delavan Rescue Squad and wanted to know if we had any complaints about their service, because we’ve contracted with them for the past few years. I was able to tell them no, we haven’t had any complaints,” Ceas said.
Larry Knuth, vice president of operations at Paratech, a for-profit ambulance company that’s Milwaukee-based, but has grown to handle ambulance calls in surrounding counties, including Walworth County, learned about changes in Delavan last week.
Knuth said he’d been notified by Delavan Rescue Squad on Friday that the comapny would no longer be handling any more calls for transporting patients between medical facilities. Paratech has seen an increase in those types of calls since that time, Knuth said.
He declined to talk in specifics about Delavan Rescue Squad, but said ambulance companies could get into trouble if they overextended themselves financially.
The rescue squad constructed on a new vehicle storage construction facility and its main office in 2011.
Check back with Walworth County Today.com for further updates.