HARVARD -- The selectmen at a previous meeting approved Ambulance Director Steve Beckman's ambulance squad roster, but only through the end of July.
Although it was basically a list of annual appointments, the selectmen wanted to clarify a few points and had questions about some of Beckman's notations. They wanted to talk to him before making the appointments for another full year.
At the meeting of selectmen July 9, Beckman answered all the proffered questions in detail, after which they approved the roster as presented, until June 2014.
One question that came up was the designations, which Beckman explained. EMT designations, for example, are identified by levels of training.
As for the notations, a capital D beside a driver's name denotes a certified ambulance driver, with basic CPR training who measures up to Department of Transportation driving standards. A lower case d beside the name indicates a driver-in-training.
Multiple member categories include cadets, some of whom are high school students at The Bromfield School or adults "in various stages of the testing process" toward becoming provisional EMTs, Beckman said. He also explained the difference between provisional and full membership.
A full member must commit to 10 ambulance runs per year, 16 hours on call and must attend eight out of 12 monthly meetings. But "special allowances" may be made for college students who want to remain active, typically those who are attending schools in state and frequently come home on weekends as well as on long school vacations.
Things change, though, and the department tracks its active college student members to see if the commitments are met.
"By Christmas, we know..." Beckman said. But if they are unable to keep up, the door is open for them to come back when they can, he said.
Asked about standards for a full crew, he said the minimum required to send the ambulance out is two or three, depending on whether the driver is also an EMT.
Time was, the department had trouble raising a crew and too often had to call out other agencies. Not any more. He outlined how the line-up is scheduled now for weekdays and weekends, with a first-come, first-on-board policy in which the dispatcher stops "toning out" when squad responses get to four.
"We've been able to raise a crew consistently for the last two and a half years." Beckman said.