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Our financial situation

MREMS is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, governed by a volunteer, community-based Board of Directors. Many people in our community do not realize that we are NOT owned and operated by the local hospital, nor does it provide us with funding. Currently, only three of the towns we serve provide us with a per capita fee of $2.50 per resident.

Since April of 2014, we have been operating with a deficit. Since June of 2014, we have cut positions and staff hours, added new sources of revenue, and applied better money management. We have achieved our goal of reversing our deficit and are currently operating with a more financially stable budget, but we still need financial backing to continue forward.

There are only a few organizations in Vermont which operate at such a high level of pre-hospital care. Additionally, MREMS provides Heavy Rescue services, responding to car accidents, industrial accidents and any situations requiring the use of hydraulic tools, air tools, or stabilization equipment. Training has become a priority for MREMS, providing life-saving classes to companies, schools, and the general public. In the past forty-five years, this organization has grown from a small, community-based volunteer squad, into an organization that is staffed by full-time, national- and state-certified individuals.

The reality, however, is that due to Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements being reduced, growing numbers of uninsured individuals, and escalating costs for equipment and training, MREMS is facing financial challenges. Some insurance funds cover transportation costs only for specific types of treatments, and even then, often only up to 50% of the cost is refunded.

Donations serve three primary purposes: to help us maintain our current facility, to buy new equipment, and to fund advanced training opportunities for our members.

Past efforts

In 2010, a Capital Campaign was established and Middlebury College made a generous challenge pledge, but that campaign has ended. Though we received significant, generous donations, our campaign goal was not met, leaving us with a hefty mortgage to pay off. Subscriptions from community members have been a driving force in keeping our doors open, but it is simply not enough.

Where the money goes

MREMS employees and volunteers are certified emergency medical technicians, trained to respond to crisis situations such as road accidents, terror attacks, and medical emergencies. In addition to their excellent driving and first aid skills, MREMS staff are caring and courteous, sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people whom they transport. The drivers assist their passengers into and out of their homes, often carrying them up and down stairs to upper-story apartments in buildings without elevators.

Although our skills, dedication, and quality of service are of the highest caliber in the state, our emergency communications equipment is in desperate need of repair and replacement. MREMS members rely heavily on on having radio equipment which functions properly, whether for dispatching an emergency, sending notifications to the hospital, or communicating during an emergency situation - a situation which can sometimes be a matter of life or death. Unfortunately, our Kenwood brand radios are no longer being manufactured - a testament to the age of our equipment. Our Motorola pagers - of which we only have six for a fifty-person staff - are falling apart, with some held together by tape.

Arguably our biggest issue, though, is the state of our vehicles.

We utilize five different trucks for our services: a 2001 Ford AMB ALS, a 2006 Ford AMB ALS, a 2003 Kenworth Heavy Rescue, a 2009 Ford E350, and a 2005 Ford Explorer. With the number of calls we receive, each year, these vehicles have tens to hundreds of thousands of miles on them. Like our radio equipment, our vehicles are outdated, requiring constant repairs and upkeep.

The most important part of any Rescue Service is having reliable vehicles to transport patients, and because of this, MREMS is in desperate need of new ambulances. Our goal is to be able to purchase a new ambulance in the very near future, and a second ambulance within the following two years. The average cost of a fully-equipped ambulance is approximately $150,000 - an extraordinary expense for any emergency service.

We are asking if you, as an individual or company, can assist us in any way with a donation. We truly need - and greatly appreciate - your tax-deductible donations. As a non-profit organization, we gladly accept matching gifts. If you have any questions regarding our non-profit status or gift program, please contact us.

As always, please remain safe, and thank you for your support.

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