WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Village Ambulance Service has signed an agreement to provide Williams College with on-call transportation for its students to and from non-emergency medical appointments during the school term.
Williams will fund the new operation, including the acquisition of two new fully equipped, wheelchair-capable vans and the hiring of drivers.
"The closure earlier this year of North Adams Regional Hospital brought into sharp relief a growing challenge that the college had been faced with for some time – how best to respond to an accelerating need to provide non-emergent, health-care-related transportation for students," said Stephen Klass, Williams vice president for campus life.
"We'd long envisioned Village Ambulance as a primary resource for this creative type of service and we're thrilled to have co-designed this new academic-year program for our students," he continued. "We're equally excited to see what might be developed for broader community application from this private pilot program."
The new agreement is in addition to the college's long-standing support of the ambulance service for its emergency services to Williams students.
"It's been exciting for VAS to work with the college on developing this innovative collaboration," said VAS board President Dr. Erwin Stuebner.
"As the plans for this service evolved it became clear that it would not only benefit Williams but that, because of the significant contribution the college is providing financially and with its confidence in our service, it will make VAS an even stronger organization."
Stuebner said he shares the college's hope the pilot progam will lead to similar services to the entire community in the future.
Village Ambulance Service is a locally managed, not-for-profit organization that provides emergency (911) call response to the greater Williamstown area, and a wide range of medical transportation services from advanced life support to shuttle services.
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