Highland BOS Sends Proposed EMS Plan Hours Before Public Hearing

In an email received from interim county administrator Jerri Botkin on the morning of Thursday April 11 at just before 9 a.m., the agenda and rules of procedure for public hearing were referenced and attached. Not referenced in the email, but also attached in full, was a proposal to change the EMS ordinance and revoke the Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad’s ability to operate in Highland County. The agenda for the April 11 meeting, which is tacked on to the bottom of the agenda for the public hearing to discuss enterprise and EMS fees, lists three EMS related items under old business:

  1. Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad proposed EMS plan (proposed 4/2/2024)
  2. Highland County Emergency Medical Services Plan proposal
  3. Resolution for Emergency Medical Services
  4. Highland County Emergency Medical Services Staff

The full proposed EMS Plan of Action can be viewed using the link below, and states “The Highland County Department of Emergency Medical Services shall be the ONLY Designated Emergency Response Agency (DERA) in Highland County. Bolar Volunteer Rescue Squad shall be a non-DERA agency. The Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad (HCVRS) is no longer authorized to operate in the County. Any liability protection HCVRS and its members may have had while answering calls as an agency in the County, as an instrumentality of the County, is revoked” and that “The EMS Plan Review Board will be put on hold for the immediate future.”

The proposed EMS Plan of Action also addresses raising the EMS to $350 per year to meet the budget timeline for the FY24-25 budget.

An email from Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad Captain Debbie Trible, stated the proposed plan was being brought forth by Highland Board of Supervisors Chair Henry Budzinski and encouraged Highland citizens to attend “the meeting to eliminate HCVRS.”

The public hearing and meeting are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.,  Thursday, April 11th, at the courthouse in Monterey.  The Board of Supervisors Public Hearing and Citizen Comment Rules of Procedure allow 3 minutes per individual and 5 minutes per group representative during public comments. 

This is a developing story. Please stay tuned to AMR News for more information as it becomes available.


Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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