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Brimfield says thanks for service



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Linda Collette. (click for larger version)
December 08, 2010
BRIMFIELD — Back in 1980, the towns of Brimfield, Holland, and Wales relied upon a group of volunteers to transport them to local hospitals. In those days there were no licensed paramedics with years of emergency response training under their belts or sophisticated technologies installed in the back of ambulances — just a group of selfless volunteers who were committed to saving lives.

One of those volunteers was Linda Collette, who spent the next 30 years helping transition the ambulance service to a full-time status during the day.

Today, the Brimfield Ambulance Service (BAS) provides advanced emergency support to individuals at the paramedic level, and Collette is now ready to move on to the next chapter of her life. After leaving an indelible impression on her co-workers and emergency management officials belonging to other towns, she will retire from her position as Manager of the BAS in early January.

"The many hours she has put into the local ambulance service over the years have resulted in countless lives being changed by the provision of effective and community staffed emergency management services," said Jonathan Hall, a close friend of Collette who works with the Alert Ambulance Service Inc. based in Chicopee.

Hall, along with several other BAS members, will host a retirement party for Collette at American Legion Hall on Saturday, Jan. 8. Beginning at 6 p.m., the event will recognize the many accomplishments Collette made in her public safety career.

"Most people in Brimfield, Holland, and Wales have either been treated directly by Linda, or know someone who she helped at one point in the last three decades," Hall added. "Linda has played such a key role in the development of the Belchertown Ambulance Service into what it is today."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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