UVM rescue to have a new facility

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UVM Rescue is spending $1.6 million to build a new facility to house their ambulances and on duty student staff more efficiently.

The current building, located on 284 East Ave, doesn’t meet their need to safely store their vehicles, UVM Rescue Director of Operations Mike Bar- num, a senior, said.

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A UVM Rescue ambulance responds to a medical call Feb 21. The rescue squad secured funding through a private donation to build a new facility. OLIVER POMAZI/The Vermont Cynic

“We have two ambulances, yet we only have room for one in our bay, so we have to leave the off duty truck outside to face the harsh Vermont weather, which severely depletes the life of our $200,000 ambulances,” Barnum said.

Additionally, the building doesn’t provide staff with a comfortable setting when they’re on the job.
“We have one bedroom with two bunk beds in it yet we typically have six students on duty per night, leaving two members to sleep on couches in the common room,” he said.

By working with Director of Capital Planning and Management Robert Vaughan and the architectural firm Freeman French Freeman, UVM Rescue has come up with a budget and design for their proposed facility, Barnum said.

“Our call volume is increasing every year and the new facility will allow us to increase our provided services if nec- essary to meet the demand of emergency requests,” he said.

Funding for the new building will be paid half from funds UVM Rescue receives for their services, while the other half will be funded by a loan from the University that will be paid back over the next 10 years, Vaughan said.

Barnum gave a presentation to the board of trustees educational policy and institutional resources committee Feb. 5, Vaughan said.

“The way any project works is we have a requirement to report to two different subcommittees on the board of trustees,” he said.

The next step for UVM Rescue is to present the project to the budget and finance committee, Vaughan said. Once they approve it, the project is allowed to begin.

UVM Rescue is a student club and full-time advanced life support ambulance service staffed by about 20 student volunteers, Barnum said.

UVM Rescue has been providing emergency services to UVM and the surrounding communities for over 40 years, he said.

They have responded to more than 1,300 calls in 2015 alone, according to their website.