Ground-breaking ceremony held for new ambulance facility
A brief ground-breaking ceremony for the new headquarters for the Boothbay Region Ambulance Service (BRAS) was held Sunday afternoon, July 24. The land for the new headquarters, which will be just south of the current headquarters in Boothbay, has been cleared.
A small crowd of about 30 people, including selectmen from Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport, attended the ceremony. BRAS Chairman Robbie Ham thanked all who attended and gave special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Coulombe for providing the funding ($1.65 million) for the new headquarters, which will be twice the size and offer many more features than the current headquarters.
Ham said the current headquarters was built approximately 14 years ago with donated funds and labor. He said with the increase in calls since the closing of St. Andrews Hospital, the new headquarters will hopefully draw more staffing (the 45 staff members are mostly per diem attendants who work at other jobs and for other ambulance services). He said that as of Sunday, the BRAS has already attended to over 900 patients since the beginning of the year, the most ever.
Paul Coulombe also spoke briefly, saying he and his wife are glad to be able to help the Boothbay Common area grow and with that growth comes more people.
“With more people, we are going to need more and better health care,” said Coulombe. He said the new building will provide the needed space and equipment for making it one of the best ambulance service facilities in Maine.
The “New Emergency Response Center” has been designed by and will be built by the Knickerbocker Group of Boothbay. Prior to the ceremony, Ham gave attendees a look at the plans for the new headquarters, which are on display in the current BRAS building.