Town contract allows Candor EMS to remain open, run community outreach program

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Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:03 PM EDT
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CANDOR (WBNG) - When the pandemic started, Director of Operations Curtis Hammond for the Candor Emergency Squad said Candor EMS lost a lot of its volunteers. “Without the volunteers, they had to make a decision to actually hire staff to run calls here at the agency,” said Hammond. “The problem with that is hiring people costs money and being a small agency without tax funding. This agency was going to close down in 2021.”

To reverse the fate of Candor EMS, they were able to get a town contract and be labeled as an essential service to the community. If they had to shut down, Hammond said response times could have been 30 to 45 minutes.

With the decision to keep Candor EMS around, according to Hammond, the average response time is under two minutes. “The Town of Candor taxpayers pay for the payroll, which keeps staff here 24/7,” said Hammond.

With the influx of staff, community outreach like the Junior Healthcare Initiative Program can come to life. “We’ve looked at community education programs for CPR/AED training, first aid training, babysitting program,” said Hammond. “A lot of it stems in just getting people interested in healthcare.”

“We’ll be holding the meetings for the junior members here at Candor. With Colby Westervelt and her classes, she’s doing the EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) program, she automatically has her students do CRP. So it’s a little bit of both,” said Program Coordinator Shelby Wheeler.

While the program is currently through Candor Central School District and supported in places like Westervelt’s classroom, local students 16 to 18 can reach out to Candor EMS for an application as well.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to have an elective program like I do so that they can really find out if their interested in any of those professions,” said Health Services Elective Curriculum Teacher Colby Westervelt with Candor High School.

Hammond has released an official state. He said, “Candor EMS would like to thank the town officials and the town residents for the amazing support over the years. We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve you and to grow into the new era of Candor EMS.”