UVM breaks ground on headquarters for UVM Rescue

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UVM breaks ground on headquarters for UVM Rescue

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 2:57pm -- tim

The University of Vermont has broken ground on a new $1.4 million headquarters for UVM Rescue. The new facility will open in the fall of 2017. Artist rendering

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont has broken ground on a new $1.4 million headquarters for UVM Rescue, a student-run organization created in 1972 that provides advanced life support ambulance services to the campus and greater Chittenden County. In 2016, UVM Rescue received 1,615 service calls. UVM Rescue’s new home, to be located on the south end the of the parking lot at 284 East Avenue, will open in the fall of 2017. The service is now located within the 284 East Avenue complex.

The current facility, built in 1974, has presented challenges for many years, according to a report compiled by UVM Rescue and presented to the UVM Board of Trustees.

It has heated garage space for only one ambulance, and the space is too small to accommodate modern ambulance design, requiring UVM’s vehicles to be custom-made. The group’s second ambulance is either parked outside at 284 East Avenue or at the Wheeler Barn on the university’s main campus, which causes start-up problems in cold weather and necessitates the storage of temperature-sensitive drugs away from the vehicle.

The current facility has only one bathroom and only four beds. Crews of eight or more will frequently be on duty at one time.

The new building represents a vast improvement.

It will include a heated garage with a service bay to accommodate the two ambulances; crew quarters including a full kitchen, two bathrooms with showers, lockers and sleeping areas to accommodate up to eight; a conference/study room; a work-out area; laundry and supply storage space; and a common room to serve as a multi-purpose gathering location where volunteers undertake training, wait for calls and eat.  

All areas will be equipped with the public address system used by UVM Police Services to dispatch the on-duty crew, as well as wireless internet for computer access.

“UVM Rescue is a home away from home for many of the participating students,” said William Ballard, associate vice president for administrative and facilities services, the group’s faculty advisor. “It’s not infrequent that students will be at the facility from 6 p.m. on a Fridaynight until 6 p.m. Sunday. The new building is a long overdue improvement in quality of life for a group that makes a vital contribution to the health and safety of our community.” 

Speakers at the groundbreaking event included UVM president Tom Sullivan, Kiley Baillergeron, class of ’18, current UVM Rescue director; Ballard; Marshall Wallace, class of ’17, past UVM Rescue director; Michael Barnum, class of ’16, former UVM Rescue director; Alex Halpern of Freeman French Freeman Inc., architect for new facility and an alumnus of UVM Rescue; and Deb Dever, senior director of major gifts at the UVM Foundation.

UVM Rescue is self-funding through payments made for its services. The new building will be paid for through a combination of private gifts and both past and future revenues generated by the service.

Students participating in UVM Rescue come from a diverse array of majors, with the majority coming from health sciences. Many pursue careers in healthcare after graduating.

Source: UVM 4.21.2017