SHIRLEY -- The ambulance service is seeking certified EMT's to work on-call. The pay is $17.61 per hour and the town covers continuing education, including EMT refresher courses and CPR certification, Ambulance Director Mike Detillion said.

Currently about a half dozen short of a full roster, Detillion said the service needs more coverage primarily for nights and weekends.

The shortage became more immediate with the departure of two young women recently added to the town's EMT rolls. Both have moved away, one to take a job with FEMA in California. He's proud of that and wishes her well, he said.

Now, he's on the lookout for replacements and then some.

With fewer people working in town than in the past, Detillion acknowledged it's harder these days to summon an on-call crew during the day, when most ambulance calls come in. Fortunately, he's got it covered now with full-time firefighters.

Besides himself, Detillion can call on Fire Dept. Captain Troy Cooley and Deputy Chief Joe Hawthorne as well as Fire Chief Dennis Levesque to respond to ambulance calls during weekday working hours. All three are certified emergency medical technicians as well as seasoned firefighters whose experience and expertise are highly valued.

But the most critical calls typically come late at night, when medical emergencies the ambulance crew responds to are most likely to be life threatening. Those after-hours - nights and weekends - are the gaps he's most concerned about filling, he said.

It's a challenging but rewarding job, Detillion said, calling for sensitivity and tact as well as skill. CORI checks are required, with reports provided, at no cost to the applicant.

Detillion said he knows there are working EMT's living in town whose part-time, on-call help would be welcomed. He'd like to talk to those folks, he said, and to others who are interested from nearby towns. Since in-town residency isn't a requirement for an on-call EMT, the outreach net extends to the local area, including Ayer and Groton, he said.

Interested? Please call Ambulance Director Mike Detillion to set up an interview. His cell phone number is 978-833-1194.

-- M.E. Jones