Decades ago, as in much of the nation, the local ambulance was a hearse here in the Boothbay Region. Patients were often transported to the hospital in the roomy back of a Lincoln or Cadillac limousine style hearse. Beginning in 1934, the local funeral home in Boothbay Harbor served as the local ambulance service.
By the mid-1970s, a new era of ambulance services emerged. With increased government regulations and training requirements, funeral home ambulance services gave way to a more modern model of regional ambulance services and, in 1976, a group of volunteers created Boothbay Region Ambulance Service (B.R.A.S.).
B.R.A.S. was established to be the primary EMS service for the peninsula communities of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport as well as the surrounding islands. With an annual call volume of approximately 1300-1400, we do a mix of emergency calls, special events stand-by, as well as community education and outreach. We also have a secondary focus on supporting our local healthcare facilities with patient movement as required by our ever-changing healthcare needs.
This giant step forward resulted in several smaller steps in developing a highly trained professional service responding 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In BRAS’s early days, first responders included an EMT or Advanced EMT. Today, every call includes a Paramedic response. The once all-volunteer service now has 4 full-time employees, 50+ part-time employees and a full time EMS Chief. The days of a fleet of one ambulance and a hearse back-up have been replaced by four ambulances and highly trained personnel, who utilize the latest high technology equipment to help our citizens and guests.