The Cambridge Area Volunteer Ambulance Service (CAVAS) says their hands are tied and have no other choice but to close their doors.
CAVAS says it’s a vicious cycle; not enough volunteers to respond to calls and the inability to make a profit has forced them to close January First.
The volunteer service says they have tried everything, but with outstanding bills there is nothing left.
Carolynn Glenn, CAVAS Treasurer, tells us, “Volunteerism is gone. The generation now-a-days; there is no volunteers. They want paid for everything… I been robbing this account to pay for that account to apply for something else because we have not had the money to keep us going. You can't have the money if you don't have the personnel to run the calls."
Glenn tells us the service is like a ghost town. “Right now, they're telling us we're only running between 35 and 40 percent of our calls because we don't have man power. We have right now five EMTs. (How many would you need?) Between 25-30 to fill the full roster 24/7." She says CAVAS closing means longer response times for call to service in that area.
One of the founders of CAVAS, Tom Hobson, says the news hurts, but it's the way emergency services are going. “At the time that we started, we had to push people off the ambulance because they wanted to run." Hobson says it’s “Very sad because we put ourselves in that situation and we worked hard to make it what it is. No disgrace to the people who are running the organization now. I know it's difficult."
Glenn tells us they are holding a meeting October Fourth, open to anyone and everyone who wants more information or to ask questions.
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