To the editor:
On Saturday, June 17, the town of Dresden will make a decision to vote on a new ambulance service. Gardiner Fire and Rescue currently serves as the town’s ambulance service and takes great pride in that job. Dresden Fire Department and Gardiner Fire and Rescue have a great working relationship and hope to continue working together. Gardiner has an excellent service record and prides itself on offering paramedic services on all trucks, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike many services that only have paramedics occasionally.
The town of Dresden received an introductory, reduced rate over the past three years with the understanding that after the three years, they would pay the same rate as the other communities utilizing Gardiner Fire and Rescue. By offering Dresden the introductory rate, it gave the town a paramedic service without a drastic change in their budget, allowing time to budget for the future.
The decision by the selectmen to change services has a greater impact than just the town of Dresden. The selectmen’s decision comes even after Gardiner Fire and Rescue worked diligently with all the partner communities to maintain a great service at the lowest cost. The cost that led the selectmen to change services is less than $10 per person.
I hope all the residents of Dresden that support Gardiner Fire and Rescue will show up for the town meeting and request the selectmen make the best choice on June 17. We hope to continue caring for the great people of Dresden after June 30.
Josh Johnson, Pittston
President, Gardiner Professional Firefighters
International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 2303