At the October 23 Council meeting, an exciting new plan for the future of the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps (MVAC) was announced. A detailed rundown on this can be read on the Madison Eagle website. Here is a summary:
- The MVAC has (for nearly 70 years) been run separate from other borough public safety entities.
- For many years, the MVAC has seen declining levels of volunteers, required them to dip into their limited budget to pay for staff.
- Under this new plan, the MVAC will be folded into the Madison Fire Department.
- The borough will hire paid EMTs as needed on a per-diem basis to supplement MVAC volunteers and Madison firefighters.
- The fire department will take over aspects like the EMS coverage schedule among resources available.
- The MVAC will continue to be a not-for-profit entity with a board of officers who will also serve in an advisory capacity during the transition.
At the meeting, Mayor Conley also swore in Jack Downs as a new career firefighter promoting him from the volunteer division.
This move ensures that Madison residents can continue to rely on the vital services provided by the MVAC in emergencies, with a pledge to respond within three to six minutes. This plan comes with a cost of a one-time $150K to pay off the cost of a 2022 ambulance purchase and roughly $350K a year to manage the services.
At the signing of the agreement, Councilmember Bob Landrigan, who has served for 25+ years as an MVAC volunteer, noted that it was a bittersweet moment, but praised MVAC leaders for realizing that a change like this was needed to preserve the MVAC for the Madison community.
This is yet another example of borough leadership and the mayor and council responding to the needs of the Madison community who prioritize public safety and want to ensure that the services they rely on and expect are there in a time of need.