Governor Timothy Kaine Office of the Governor Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor 1111 East Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23219 Phone: (804) 786-2211 Fax: (804) 371-6351 Dear Governor Kaine; We, the undersigned, hereby request that you intervene on behalf of the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad and the citizens that it serves. We believe that the actions of the Virginia Department of Health\'s Office of Emergency Medical Services in suspending the license of said squad were unwarranted, unnecessary and pose a threat to the safety of the citizens served by the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad. The following factors should be considered in reversing the decision of the Office of Emergency Medical Services. The Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad was undergoing an effective and dramatic rebuild of its ranks at the time of the suspension, as evidenced by a four-hundred twenty-five percent (425 %) increase in the number of basic EMTs released to practice between April 2006 and October 2006. Call response numbers were growing and extrapolation suggested that a full recovery would be achieved in less than two years. Office of Emergency Medical Services representatives admitted that the long-term outlook of the rebuild was good, but that there was concern for the short-term. The license was suspended six days later. Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad was not in violation of the cited regulation because of a 1999 agreement between Culpeper County and certain Culpeper fire and rescue agencies, one of which was the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad. The Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad had entered into talks with Culpeper County to update the 1999 agreement, but both sides verbally agreed to continue operating under the 1999 document. Culpeper Office of Emergency Services personnel were housed in the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad station and were using ambulances belonging to the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad to provide mutual aid services to the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad area of operations and to all other areas of Culpeper County. Based on these elements, there existed in fact, a mutual aid agreement between Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad and Culpeper County. The closure of the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad presents a clear and present danger to the citizens of Culpeper County. Culpeper Office of Emergency Services currently only staffs two ambulances which are often overwhelmed by a high call volume. Average response times to emergency calls are negatively affected by the removal of the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad from public safety system in Culpeper. This is a further weakening of an already fragile volunteer system in Culpeper. The Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad has four ambulances and thirty volunteers ready and eager to serve their community. That number is continuing to grow. Should a mass casualty incident or disaster strike Culpeper, the absence of those resources will be felt in a very negative way. That should not be allowed to happen. A reinstated Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad may not be able to prevent such an event, but it can lessen the loss of life and limb. The financial impact of adequately replacing the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad will place a large and unnecessary strain on the taxpayers of Culpeper County. Each ambulance that is staffed by career personnel will cost an estimated $350,000.00-$400,000.00 per year in salaries, benefits, and other personnel costs, with likely significant increases to reach competitive area pay levels. Not included in that figure is the purchase of the requisite ambulance and all necessary equipment which will be $125,000.00 or more. Some of these costs may be offset by state and federal grants, but those are ultimately paid for by taxpayers as well. A high-quality volunteer system is possible with an investment of energy and resources and at a much lower cost to the taxpayer than a comparable career system. The Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad has a comprehensive plan to not only provide high quality free rescue and emergency medical services to the citizens it serves, but to do so in a manner that will make it a model of excellence. If given a fair chance to continue rebuilding itself, the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad will recover fully within two years and flourish thereafter. The citizens of Culpeper will be more adequately protected than they are now and the entire Culpeper public safety community will be enhanced. The Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad looks forward to rejoining the effort to save lives in Culpeper and surrounding areas. It is for these reasons Mr. Governor that we requested that you intercede on behalf of the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad. They are asking for the opportunity to serve their community in the saving of lives!