Our complete support

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 8:45pm

On the morning of Thursday, May 17, the Block Island Rescue Squad ambulance went racing down Ocean Avenue, sirens blaring. That ambulance was driven by a volunteer, and whomever was being transported was also being attended to by a volunteer. These folks are among the many who are about to work themselves into a state of exhaustion, overseeing accidents and injuries that will range from the silly to the serious during the next several months. Once Memorial Day Weekend arrives, the ambulances and their crews will be pretty much on call through Labor Day. 

Their presence on the island is vital, and these volunteers take every aspect of their work seriously, which includes the oversight of its members, its equipment and its finances. News spread quickly this past week that there were some discrepancies in the department’s financial accounts that were discovered during the annual review of the books, a matter that was uncovered and quickly brought to the attention of the New Shoreham Police Department. This matter will now be handled by the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The Fire and Rescue Departments are dependent on donations and fundraising in order to keep its trucks and other vehicles in working order, its turnout gear state-of-the-art, and the community safe. There was concern that this episode would somehow harm these fundraising efforts, yet we somehow don’t think that will be so. 

But in light of the unfortunate incident this past week, we felt it was important to reiterate our complete support and trust of the department and the people who work there. We have no doubt this feeling is shared by the Block Island community and the many guests who have benefited over the years from the training of these dedicated volunteers.