The Mad River Valley Ambulance Service (MRVAS) turned 50 years old on August 26, 2020.  Over 500 volunteers have responded to more than 16,000 calls during its half-century of service.

Before 1970, medical emergencies in The Valley were served by a hearse-ambulance dispatched from the Perkins Funeral Home in Waterbury.  This led to a group of community members who believed The Valley could care for its own to found the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service.  

The original mission statement reads: “The mission of the MRVAS is to provide the four Mad River Valley towns of Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown the highest quality of emergency medical services utilizing dedicated volunteers, technology and community support.”

The service has evolved from 11 members fielding 55 calls in 1971 to 78 active members responding to 457 calls in 2019.  Over that period, MRVAS has developed volunteers organized into five disciplines.   


MRVAS Dispatcher Wrenn Comper webInitially, when someone had an emergency, they called a local number that was answered by someone at the Waitsfield Telephone Company.  The phone company paged MRVAS members who called on a phone line.  Today, all 911 calls go through a central answering point, and then out to a MRVAS dispatcher through a dedicated phone line and base station radio. Every shift is covered by one of 13 dispatchers. While many emergency services have contracted their dispatching out to private firms, MRVAS believes that a community member in need is best served by a neighbor with local knowledge. Linda Tyler, a dispatcher of seven years, said, “The dispatchers just do it – when a call comes in, someone is there to answer it, two 12-hour shifts a day, 365 days a year. We know the area, and often we know the patients. Somebody on the service always knows how to get to the scene, even if Google maps doesn’t.”


Initially, the service was only able to provide basic medical care. Through lobbying by MRVAS, advance life support training was approved for squads in Central Vermont , resulting in a higher level of care, a critical factor given the transport time to the nearest hospital.

Today, MRVAS has three levels of certification  Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT). Training and certification requirements range from 90 hours for an EMR to over 500 hours to become an AEMT, plus additional monthly training requirements.

Walker Randall, a five-year EMT, joined as a junior member while at Harwood.  He developed an interest in first aid while in Boy Scouts. After hearing that MRVAS had a junior program he decided to explore that interest. “After joining I discovered that the ambulance service was so much more than just broken legs and car crashes. Being able to make a difference on what is often one of the worst days of people’s lives had a huge impact on me. I discovered my passion for emergency services. I’m now studying emergency services management and working towards becoming a paramedic,” he said.


Drivers transport patients and vehicles, ensuring the safe operation of the vehicle while communicating with dispatch. At the end of calls, drivers perform a thorough maintenance and cleaning routine, effectively responsible for the health of the ambulance. Erik Reisner joined the service as a driver in 2007, and soon became an EMT as well. “I was new to the community and wanted to become more involved. I read a recruitment article in the VR and inquired about joining. So, I completed the Vermont Emergency Vehicle Driver Training Program. Driving on calls made me want to learn more. I undertook the EMT training so I would have more personal knowledge should I encounter an emergency and also be able to expand my skill set,” he said.


MRVAS Water rescue at Warren Falls2 web

Rescue team members have duties ranging from vehicle extrication to searching for and transporting patients who are off road, e.g., on the Long Trail, over an embankment or in the river. Rescue members use snowmobiles, ATVs and the Stokes litter, used to manually carry patients over rough terrain. Kevin Van Schaick, a 31-year veteran of the service, currently heads up the rescue and search and rescue teams. “As I am driving to a rescue call, I run through the likely situation we will face on scene and review options for the safest, fastest and most efficient way to extricate the patient. I think about which resources we will need: the number and type of crew members and equipment required given the approach to the scene. That is why we train monthly on all the various rescue techniques and equipment. Here in The Valley, we have a huge variety of calls – everything from water rescue to carrying someone off the Long Trail, from using the Jaws of Life to extricate someone from a damaged car to using a backboard and pulleys to extricate the patient from a high loft in their condo,” he said.


MRVAS Jaws of Life training web

Technology was one of the pillars of the original MRVAS mission. Over the years, MRVAS has adapted to and adopted new technologies to enhance the capabilities of the service. A new Active 911 app enables dispatchers to send an alert to the membership, describing the nature of the call and Google map coordinates, expediting a rapid response to patient care. Part of the new Vermont EMS 2020 protocols includes the use of the FAST-ED app, which helps to pinpoint various types of stroke and identify the appropriate hospital for treatment.

Equipment needs and costs have grown exponentially during the past 50 years. MRVAS’s first ambulance purchase in 1971 was a used 1968 Cadillac model Z8 ambulance for $9,800. It was replaced by a wagon-style rig and then a van. One ambulance was joined by a second and then a third. The most recent replacement was a Ford F550 4x4 built to handle dirt roads and winter weather. All three of the squad’s current ambulances are equipped with LP15s which monitor heart rhythms, blood pressure, and oxygen and CO2 levels as well as act as a defibrillator during CPR. These details are transmitted ahead of the ambulance’s arrival to prepare hospital personnel for the incoming emergency. Mad River Rescue rounds out the fleet. It carries a wide assortment of rescue tools from the Jaws of Life used to extricate patients from a vehicle to pulleys and ropes used in water rescue and high angle extrications.


MRVAS was initially housed in the Waitsfield Fire House. As the squad grew and more space was needed MRVAS purchased and renovated Bonnette's Garage on Main Street  in 2000, with help from the community. The ambulance station provides a space for community gatherings, be it for CPR trainings or the annual Father’s Day pancake breakfast. MRVAS is present at many of The Valley’s signature events including the Green Mountain Stage Race, the Mad Marathon, and a variety of music, art and beer festivals. 

Each year, hundreds of families in The Valley subscribe to the ambulance service. A subscription provides unlimited emergency medical transport for all household members along with two nonemergency transports. MRVAS also receives numerous donations from patients and their families. Valley businesses provide another foundation of MRVAS’s financial independence. At Town Meeting this year, Valley voters supported MRVAS’s request for $30,000 per town over the next two years to help fund the replacement of MR2 which will have logged 15 years of service at the end of 2020. 

MRVAS is one of only a handful of all-volunteer ambulance services left in Vermont MRVAS was founded on the principle that it would be a volunteer service and remain independent.  This is still a guiding principle of the service 50 years later. Members remain dedicated to saving lives and providing the community with a sense of security that in an emergency, a highly trained MRVAS volunteer will be there to deliver state-of-the-art care. While MRVAS continues to evolve with the field of EMS medicine, its commitment to providing emergency care to the Mad River Valley remains the same today as it was on August 26, 1970.

To see a list of all current and past MRVAS volunteers, visit

1. Alarie, John
2. Albanese, James
3. Aldred, Robert
4. Allen, Amelia*
5. Allen, Steve
6. Amon, Robert
7. Andrews, Joan
8. Arman, Roxanne
9. Arman, Terry
10. Armstrong, Dawn
11. Austin, Beth
12. Austin, Jill
13. Austin, RJ
14. Austin, Sue
15. Bagley, Kevin
16. Baird, Andrew
17. Baker, Bruce
18. Barefoot, Tom*
19. Bareham, Ernie
20. Barnard, Jan
21. Barnes, Doug
22. Bartlett, Laurie
23. Barton, Bonnie
24. Bates, Charles*
25. Bates, John
26. Bauer, Anna-Marika
27. Bauer, Ulrika
28. Beattie, Carol
29. Behn, Chris
30. Behn, Pam
31. Belknap, Arlie
32. Belknap, Gary
33. Benjamin, John
34. Bennet, Rubin
35. Benz, Marti
36. Bifano, Eugene
37. Bisbee, Buffy
38. Bissonette, Maeve
39. Blair, Fran
40. Blair, Ken
41. Blair, Susan
42. Blanchard, Joe
43. Bodette, John
44. Bombard, Joshua
45. Bonner, Ben
46. Borofsky, Chad*
47. Borofsky, Jennifer*
48. Bower, Robert*
49. Bozack, Bill
50. Brady, Adrienne
51. Bragg, Erlene
52. Brewster, James
53. Brodeur, Pamela
54. Brodeur, Sandra*
55. Brooks, Amy
56. Brooks, Peter*
57. Brown, Carol
58. Brown, Franklin
59. Brown, Luke
60. Brunell, Chad
61. Bruno, Kimberly
62. Brusa, Libby
63. Brynga, Chris
64. Brynga, Denise*
65. Buczkowski, Judi*
66. Buczkowski, Tom*
67. Burbank, Bob
68. Burbank, Bub
69. Burbank, Debbie
70. Burbank, Sabrina
71. Burbank, Susan*
72. Burnett, Jeff
73. Burns, Mark
74. Caffry, Laura
75. Cain, Barbara
76. Campbell, Jeff*
77. Campbell, Pam
78. Campbell, Rebecca
79. Campbell, Richard
80. Carino, John
81. Carnevale, Noel
82. Carnwright, Bill
83. Carr, Cindy
84. Carroll, Jamie
85. Carter, Drew
86. Caterino, David*
87. Clark, Allen
88. Clark, Dave
89. Clark, Nancy
90. Clark, Pat
91. Clark, Tom
92. Coccagna, Al
93. Compere, Wrenn*
94. Connellee, Edie
95. Cook, Bob
96. Cook, Brad
97. Cook, Donna
98. Cook, Fran MD
99. Cook, Margaret
100. Cooley, Laura
101. Corey, Judy
102. Croxford, Jed
103. Cunningham, Andy
104. Daley, Adam
105. Dasaro, Robert
106. Day, Douglas*
107. Day, Susan*
108. Dean, Larry
109. DeFreest,Jordan*
110. DeHeer, Marty
111. DelBrocco, Chris
112. DeLuca, Victoria
113. Demas, Nancy
114. Desrocgers, Julie
115. Dix, Daniel*
116. Donkersloot, James
117. Drekter, Dave
118. Drekter, Sue
119. Dudley, Paul*
120. Dumas, Victor
121. Durand, Betty
122. Easley, Dan
123. Eastman, Arnold Sr
124. Egan, Tony
125. Eid, Nicholas
126. Elliott, Justin*
127. Elliott, Walt
128. Elwell, Mickie
129. Eurich, Clesson
130. Eurich, Gordon
131. Eurich, Susan
132. Fairbanks, Sue
133. Farnham, Matthew
134. Felch, Cynthia
135. Ferris, Sarah
136. Fitzgerald, Kaitlin
137. Fleming, Fran
138. Forbes, Peter*
139. Foster, Joan
140. Froebel, Sarah
141. Galati, Julie
142. Gallagher, Laurie
143. Gallant, Michael
144. Gardner, Charlie
145. Gaylord, Brendan
146. Gile, Margaret
147. Giometti, Mark*
148. Giometti, Patty*
149. Giroux, Matt
150. Goralski, Polly
151. Gould, Guy
152. Grace, Shane*
153. Graham, Bob
154. Grandfield, Judy
155. Graves, Bover
156. Graves, Freddie
157. Graves, Ron, Sr
158. Green, Jo
159. Green, Rhoady
160. Greenberg, Reid*
161. Greenslit, Darcy
162. Greenslit, Mitchell
163. Griffith, Darryl
164. Griffith, Sheila
165. Griffith, Tracey
166. Griswald, Penny
167. Groom, Carol
168. Gross, Judi
169. Haigh, Don
170. Hall, George*
171. Hall, Jan
172. Hall, John
173. Hall, Sally
174. Hallman, Gene
175. Hallstrom. Courtney
176. Hallstrom, Lisa
177. Hammersmith, Alan*
178. Harris, Josie
179. Haskin, Dana
180. Haskin, Eric
181. Haviland, Mark*
182. Hawker, Michael
183. Heinzerling, Susie
184. Heise, Pat
185. Hendershot, Jim
186. Hendrickson, Art
187. Herrick, Debra
188. Hess, Paul
189. Hickey, Bill
190. Hill, Carol
191. Hill, Peter
192. Hoadley, Gwenn
193. Hood, Bernie
194. Hood, Jim
195. Hornbeck, Nan
196. Horner, Mike
197. Hosford, Charlie
198. Howes, Courtney
199. Howes, Matt*
200. Hoyt, Linda
201. Hubbard, Kirstin
202. Hurdle, Gene
203. Hurley, Colin
204. Huss, Bob
205. Hutcheon, Doug
206. Hyde, Jonathan
207. Iannuzzi, Linda*
208. Ioannidis, Anthony
209. Jacobs, Stefan
210. Jackson, Annelise
211. Jackson, Richard*
212. Jaeger, Lynn
213. James, Jesse*
214. Jenison, Lisa
215. Jenks, Laura
216. Jennings, Louise
217. Jesdale, Erik
218. Johannesen, Kirsten
219. Johnson, Betty
220. Johnson, Tripp
221. Jones, Deb
222. Jones, Maria
223. Jones, Jason*
224. Jones, Jim
225. Joslin, Fletcher
226. Joslin, Ray
227. Kaiser, Jeff
228. Kaiser, Lisa
229. Kasic, Patrick
230. Kathan, Fay
231. Kathan, Kim
232. Kathan, Mitchell
233. Kehoe, Beverly
234. Keith, Joe
235. Kelly, Cathy
236. Kelly, Clara*
237. Kelly, Doreen
238. Kelly, Pat
239. Kennedy, Clay*
240. Kenyon, Donna
241. Killian, Mark
242. King, Hank
243. King, Richard*
244. Kingsbury, Dick
245. Kingsbury, Lynn
246. Kingsbury, Mike
247. Kinsella, Chris
248. Kinsella, Robin*
249. Klein, Karl
250. Knox, Chris
251. Koenig, Chad
252. Koenig, Corey
253. Koenig, Kerri
254. Koenig, Mark
255. Koorits, David
256. Kownig, Chad
257. Kraus, Tammy
258. Kreindler, Steven
259. Krol, John*
260. Lacy, Betty Ann
261. Lane, Maura
262. Laskowski, Peter
263. Lavanway, Stelle
264. Lavery, Brian*
265. Leadbetter, Raymond
266. LeBlanc, Barbara
267. Lee, Rick
268. Lee, Susan
269. Leonard, Spencer*
270. Lin, Joanna
271. Lindberg, Colin*
272. Lippincott, Dr
273. Litchfield, Linda
274. Little, David
275. Livingston, Paula*
276. Long, Geri
277. Lord, Dyson
278. Lord, Richard*
279. Lorusso, Peter
280. Lowe, Ann
281. Luce, Dan
282. Luck, Matthew
283. Lundblad, Cheryl
284. Lundblad, Phil
285. Lynch, John
286. Lynch, Vee*
287. MacKay, Gator
288. MacKay, Kathy
289. MacMillan, Annie*
290. Magoun, Lisabeth
291. Majorell, Randi
292. Manglass, Ralph
293. Marble, Virginia
294. Martin, Chuck
295. Martley, Charles*
296. Martley, Patty*
297. Maxwell, Shannon
298. Mayer, Grace
299. Mays, Bob
300. McCausland, Howie*
301. McCraw, Joni
302. McCraw, Rick
303. McCuin, Pat
304. McDonald, Dennis
305. McDonough, Mark
306. McEwen, Tim
307. McGuigan, Erin
308. McHugh, Kay
309. McIntyre, Carol
310. McIntyre, Don
311. McIntyre, Ellie
312. McMurtry, Christopher
313. McPeake, Chris
314. Mele, John*
315. Michael, Maime
316. Miller Ranz, Hannah
317. Miller, Jerry
318. Miller, Karen
319. Miller, Lester Jr
320. Miller, Lester Sr
321. Mongeur, Nancy
322. Monte, Lee
323. Montgomery, Ray Sr
324. Moriarty, Dody
325. Morris, Mel
326. Mosley, Audrey
327. Moss, Dr. John
328. Moulton, Brian
329. Moulton, Corinne
330. Moulton, Dylan*
331. Mullin, Elizabeth
332. Munday, Pat
333. Munn, Raymond
334. Murphy, Roger
335. Murray, Scott
336. Nadeau, Lynn
337. Nayar, Chellam*
338. Neal, Jason
339. Neill, Harriet
340. Neill, Norm
341. Newton, Aaron
342. Newton, Joyce
343. Norton, Gary
344. Nowlan, Wm MD
345. O’Brien, Sean
346. Olenick, Alice
347. Opton, Dan
348. Orr, Debbie
349. Orr, Jeremy
350. Orr, Ramsey
351. Orvis, Randy
352. Palmer, Delbert
353. Palmer, Sharlia
354. Palmer, Susan
355. Panos, Andreas*
356. Parent, Susan
357. Parker, Jim
358. Parsons, John
359. Pashby, Kimberly
360. Patch, Evelyn
361. Patch, Nelson
362. Patterson, Jennifer
363. Patrissi, Cassi
364. Peatman, Rebecca
365. Peatman, Bill Jr
366. Peck, Stanley
367. Pelley, Randy
368. Perkins, Steve
369. Perrault, Susan
370. Petrasch, Jr., John
371. Pierce, Levi
372. Pitonyak, Richard
373. Platt, Timo
374. Pomerantz, Peter
375. Pratt,Emeline
376. Putnam, Lu
377. Quackenbush, Ken
378. Quinones, Loopy Novak
379. Rae, Joan
380. Randall, Walker*
381. Rappaport, Josh
382. Reeves, Scott
383. Reilly, Eleanor
384. Reisner, Erik*
385. Resnik, Brian
386. Reiss, Judy
387. Renke, Joan
388. Renke, Roger
389. Reynells, Penny
390. Richards, Corinthia
391. Rieder, Lea
392. Riegler, Ryan
393. Risi, Jennifer*
394. Riversong, Robert
395. Robinson, Leonard
396. Rodin, Rob
397. Rodolfy, Jackie
398. Roland, Bill
399. Roth, James
400. Roy, Kailey
401. Russell, Al
402. Saia, John MD
403. Salerson, Jake
404. Schantz, David*
405. Scherer, Steve
406. Schorn, Bob
407. Schulman, Bruce
408. Schultz, Barry
409. Schultz, Elias
410. Scott, Bill
411. Seaver, Jeffrey*
412. Seckler, Brian
413. Seckler, Cindy
414. Service, Eleanor
415. Shick, Doug
416. Siegle, Drew
417. Silman, Jeff
418. Simpson, Barry
419. Sisemoore, Jennifer
420. Smith, Cliff
421. Smith, Paul
422. Smith, Stephen*
423. Smith, Susan
424. Snow, John
425. Snyder, Dyanne
426. Snyder, Kurt
427. Southwick, John
428. Spagnolo, Eric
429. Speck, Emily
430. Spencer, Andrew*
431. Spencer, Sarah*
432. Spencer, Sue
433. Spina, Vinny*
434. Stafford, Don
435. Stancer, Peter
436. Stanton, Peter
437. Storey, Charles
438. Strelnick, Benjamon*
439. Stubbs, Jean
440. Summers, John*
441. Summers, Kim*
442. Swann, Garrett*
443. Swain, Jeff*
444. Swann, Vanessa
445. Swain, Virginia
446. Tagge, Christina
447. Tardif, Jerry
448. Thayer, Richard
449. Thompson, Carol
450. Thompson, Dianne
451. Thompson, Holly
452. Thompson, Peg
453. Thorsen, Wini
454. Todd, Cliff
455. Tompkins, Jessica
456. Tracy, Bob
457. Tremblay, David*
458. Tucker, Jerry
459. Tucker, Toby
460. Tyler, Linda*
461. Unick, Darice
462. Urell, Maureen
463. VanLiew, John
464. VanLoon, Gina
465. VanLoon, Jan
466. VanSchaick, Alyson
467. VanSchaick, Kevin*
468. VanSchaick, Monica
469. VanSchaick, Sara*
470. Vass, Jonathan
471. Viens, Christine
472. Von Trapp, Tobi
473. Wade, Richard*
474. Ward, Helen
475. Ware, Sheila*
476. Wargo, Timothy MD
477. Webster, Gary
478. Webster, Lee
479. Weide, Tristan
480. Weinert, Robert
481. Wells, Angela Munn
482. Westcott, Joyce
483. Weston, Tom
484. White, Kevin
485. Whybrow, Helen
486. Wilder, Kelly
487. Williams, John MD
488. Williams, John
489. Willis, Steve*
490. Wilson, Al
491. Winnicki, Trey*
492. Wolski, Mark
493. Wood, Jack
494. Wood, Kelly
495. Woodford, Tim
496. Woodruff, Myndy
497. Woolson, Peter
498. Woolson, Sasha Paoletti
499. Young, Jared*
500. Young, Mark
501. Young, Shawn Parker
502. Yu, Jiawen*
503. Zeleski, Zelda
504. Zweig, Joni*

* Current Members