About Us

Deerfield Valley Rescue was founded in 1974 by a group of residents who were concerned about the delivery of emergency medical care to the residents and guests of the Deerfield Valley. These people were responsible for starting an organization that has seen dramatic changes from its inception until today. In May of 1974, the idea of starting Deerfield Valley Rescue began. Approximately 25 people began volunteering their time to take advanced first-aid classes given by instructors from Whitingham Ambulance Service. On July 8th 1974, DVR was incorporated and those volunteers began traveling to Bennington to attend classes to allow them to become Emergency Medical Technicians. In November of 1974, the ambition of those volunteers became reality when ambulance coverage was provided 24 hours a day to the residents of Wilmington, Dover, Searsburg and Marlboro. The first ambulance was purchased from an organization in Brattleboro, and was housed in a garage in what is now the True Value hardware store on East Main Street. In 1976, plans were drawn up for what is now the present Squad house for DVR, located at 34 Rt. 100 South. The first official meeting in the new DVR quarters was held on August 1st 1977. The initial notification of calls was done by means of a red-phone system, where several members had phones in their houses, which received the incoming calls for assistance. After receipt of the call, the member receiving the call would alert the other members of the squad via phone, giving them the details of what the call was. Communications improved when the squad purchased a radio system and pagers, allowing the members to be anywhere in the coverage area, rather then staying home near the phone waiting for the call. From 1974 to today, DVR has seen a tremendous amount of growth. The call volume has grown from 237 in 1976, to 610 in 2005. Along with the call growth, a lot of other pieces of DVR have grown as well. Ambulances have grown from 1 to 3. The demands on the ever-important volunteer have grown, to such a point that DVR instituted paid-staff as a part of our organization.

Deerfield Valley Rescue is now a combination service, having both volunteers and paid personnel. The need for adequate daytime coverage, and the need for the administration of the squad, resulted in the hiring of the squad’s first paid full-time staff in 1989, the Business Administrator. Because of the resort area our valley is known for, the squad found that amount of calls during November to April presented a problem. With calls increasing year after year, the squad drew up plans for a part-time employee, to work those months and take the burden off of the volunteers. A Seasonal Attendant was hired in November of 1989 for this purpose, to work those 5 busy months, a position that remains in effect today. Calls still increased from 250 in 1989, to 500 in 1998. The squad again had some concern in relation to the ability to handle daytime calls the entire year. In September of 1998, DVR took another step towards efficiently handling the calls, and hired the 2nd paid full-time member, the Ambulance Attendant. At the present time, DVR has 3 FT year round positions. Regardless of the paid staff coverage, the volunteers are still the backbone of DVR, and the squad cannot function without them. The remainder of coverage time is filled in by our ever-important volunteer ranks, of which we hope you become a member of. October of 2005 turned over another stone for DVR. We made the transition from a squad whose volunteers received no compensation to a plan that compensated the members for coverage hours, as well as calls run. The thought behind this plan was to give the members a little incentive to continue doing what they do. It is hard to say whether the compensation has made a significant difference or not, but is definitely a welcomed incentive by the members.

In July of 2011, DVR made the upgrade to a Paramedic level service with the addition of 3 Paramedics, giving us the ability to respond to 911 calls with a Paramedic (if available) and allowing us to do Emergent and Non-Emergency Paramedic level transfers.

In May of 2013, the squad who was very instrumental in DVR organizing fell on extremely hard times both financially and logistically. Whitingham Ambulance Service Inc. dissolved and the towns of Whitingham and Halifax signed agreements with DVR to be the agency to respond to 911 calls. DVR started serving those towns on May 15th 2013.

DVR is part of Vermont Ambulance District #12, which includes Bennington Rescue, Arlington Rescue, Pownal Rescue, Manchester Rescue, Stamford Fire/Rescue, East Dover First Response, Winhall Police/Rescue Dept., Mt. Snow Ski Patrol, Village Ambulance in Williamstown, MA, and North Adams Ambulance in North Adams, MA. Overseeing the district is a District Board, which is comprised of a representative from each organization. This board facilitates the training and some operational functions that may relate to each squad, as set forth by the Vermont Department of Health – EMS Division. However, each squad is responsible for the administration of their squad. Overseeing the squads is the District 12 Medical Director, a physician from a medical facility in the district, who’s responsibility is to see that protocols and the delivery of emergency medical care is provided at an acceptable level.

DVR now serves the towns of Wilmington, Dover (East and West), Searsburg, Somerset, Whitingham, Halifax and portions of Marlboro, West Wardsboro and Stratton. We have 3 stations; the Wilmington station containing 2 ambulances and the Business offices of DVR, the West Dover station housing 1 ambulance and the Jacksonville station housing 1 ambulance. Our coverage area is now around 230 square miles accounting for approximately 750 calls for service and approximately 200 Non-emergency transports.

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