Aulander rescue returns

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

AULANDER – A tough ordeal is over.

At least the process for ending it has begun.

The Aulander Volunteer Rescue Squad is back serving the people of the town and the surrounding areas – albeit on a limited basis for the time being.

According to Klaas Akkerman, the new captain of the rescue squad, Aulander’s volunteer service returned to duty December 14 and the members of the squad are glad to be serving the people of Bertie County again.

&uot;We’re glad to be back in service to help the community,&uot; Akkerman said. &uot;We’re all glad to be back in it.

&uot;It’s been a trying time for the squad,&uot; he continued. &uot;It’s been hard on a lot of us, so we’re just glad to be back.&uot;

The Aulander Volunteer Rescue Squad was ordered to halt operations in May of 2004 by Bertie Medical Director Dr. Phil Harris. Harris stated the squad failed to meet state and county requirements to continue operation.

A public forum was held in August in which citizens expressed their concerns about the rescue squad, Dr. Harris and the future of emergency medical services in the northern part of the county.

&uot;I think it’s good to be back,&uot; insisted Assistant Captain Chris Bracy. &uot;We’re glad to be back open to help the citizens of Aulander.&uot;

The AVRS reorganized with Akkerman becoming Captain. He has served with the Aulander Volunteer Rescue Squad along with his wife, Marlinda, since 1990.

In addition, Bracy was tabbed Assistant Captain of the rescue squad. The other officers include secretaries Karen Early and Liz Hale and Treasurer Tommy Hale.

According to Akkerman, representatives of the rescue squad met with Dr. Harris and then the Bertie County Commissioners.

&uot;They wanted us to meet with Lewiston-Woodville (Rescue Squad) and for the two of us to work something out,&uot; Akkerman said. &uot;We got together and worked this out.&uot;

Currently the Aulander Volunteer Rescue Squad serves the coverage area from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend from 6 p.m. Friday night until 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Akkerman said the AVRS currently has 11 members while three others are currently taking the Emergency Medical Training course.

&uot;Once they get certified – probably late July or early August – we would be thinking of going fulltime,&uot; Akkerman said.

He related that even after finishing training, the prospective members of the squad would have to get in driving time.

Also, the Aulander squad currently has four more applicants who have begun the process of becoming squad members. He also encouraged anyone in Aulander who would be interested in volunteering to do so.

&uot;Anyone who wants to put in an application with the Aulander Rescue Squad is welcomed to do so,&uot; Akkerman said. &uot;If they call the Rescue Squad, we’ll be glad to give them an application.&uot;