The Tisbury EMS department has been dipping into its overtime pay budget to ensure full coverage for emergency response, ambulance coordinator Tracy Jones told the town selectmen this week. Ms. Jones said the department is having trouble attracting personnel to fill shifts, and that many shifts are being paid on an hourly basis rather than a stipend in order to meet coverage requirements. The town has two licensed ambulances, one of which must be staffed around the clock seven days a week by a paramedic and an EMT.

Nearly three years after construction started, and more than a decade since the project was first conceived, Tisbury officials gathered Sunday to celebrate the official opening of the town’s new emergency facilities building.


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The ambulance is in at the Tisbury emergency services facility on West Spring street; fire trucks will be next.

“The fire [department’s] move will be imminent,” building committee chairman Joe Tierney told the Tisbury selectmen this week. He said repaving should be completed in about two weeks; after that, the fire department can move their vehicles into the $7.38 million building that was due to be completed a year ago. Mr. Tierney also said that despite all its problems, the ESF building is still on budget.

With still no end date in sight for the Tisbury Emergency Services Facility building, now long overdue for completion, one town selectman expressed open frustration Tuesday and called for a new strategy.

“We have to have an end game here,” said selectman Tristan Israel. “Maybe the end game at this point should be, this is the end, we are going to hire our own people to do it [complete the building], and we are going to go to court and charge [the contractor] back with the difference.”

A year late and still not ready to be occupied, the Tisbury Emergency Services Facility is slowly but surely inching toward completion.

The new Tisbury fire station, also known as the emergency services facility (ESF), will open in July according to building committee chairman Joe Tierney. The building was originally slated to open last July, and its opening date has been pushed back a number of times due to construction flaws and ongoing negotiations with the project’s architect and its contractors about payment. In February Mr. Tierney announced that the building would open April 1.