There’s been a lot of turmoil and reaction to the Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board issuing reduction in force and reassignment notices to 47 school district employees last week – before voters had weighed in on the budget calling for those actions. Voters will weigh in on that budget and its attendant cuts at Town Meeting via Australian ballot and there’s an active campaign to vote the budget down to protest what many perceive as the school board making district redesign choices through the budgeting process.

After that, though, we needed some good news and a happy ending. Cue the Sugarbush ski patrol who saved a man in cardiac arrest through a perfect storm of common sense, excellent training and fast thinking. That’s a credit to the Sugarbush ski patrol and their training and it’s a credit to the teamwork of the three patrollers who saved a 57-year-old Massachusetts man.

But it’s more than that. It’s a credit to the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service (MRVAS) and its volunteers and their dedication to providing the best critical care available. At the request of Sugarbush assistant ski patrol director Chad Borofsky, MRVAS volunteer and CPR instructor Howie McCausland trained Sugarbush’s patrol in High Performance CPR, or HP CPR. HP CPR focuses on continuous, high-quality compressions interrupted only very briefly and then restarted.

It was used last month at Mount Ellen when a skier coded, or went into cardiac arrest, while being taken down the mountain on a sled. Spoiler alert – after his heart stopped, patrollers did everything right, including early intervention, quality compressions and early access to the AED.

As Town Meeting approaches on March 3, it’s important to remember this success story when contemplating a Town Meeting article that appears on the warning for Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown. MRVAS is seeking $15,000 from each town this year as well as next year.

The local ambulance service is projecting a $90,000 cash deficit by the end of 2020, due in part to the purchase of a new ambulance and other factors. Additionally, reimbursement rates from commercial insurers plus Medicaid and Medicare have remained flat, which impacts operating costs. We encourage voters to support our volunteer-run ambulance service at Town Meeting.