Brookline ambulance director to retire after 23 years of service
BROOKLINE — Wes Whittier, who started as the Brookline ambulance director and emergency management director 23 years ago, is set to retire at the end of December.
Whittier started with just one ambulance, very few volunteers and a small facility, but he has presided over the growth of the town’s emergency management systems.
“I have one great bunch of volunteers,” said Whittier.
“When I came here we had very few people. My oldest employee is 81 years and has been on the service for over 30 years and still doing calls,” said Whittier.“In 1990 we had one ambulance and a small ambulance bay but today we have two modern ambulances and one nice safety complex.”Whittier created and trained the Brookline Emergency Response Team, and played a role in the construction of the original Safety Complex in 2004 and the 2013 addition.
Their training is funded by taxes and donations.
“We are a strange breed and our ambulance does not charge the patient and we do not bill insurance companies,” added Whittier.
Donations are used to buy new equipment and for additional training not in the budget.
He started as a firefighter in 1963, was a police officer for a time and has been an EMT since 1974.
“People call me a dinosaur,” he said.
“Wes served four roles as ambulance director, emergency management director, building inspector and hazardous materials coordinator,” Brookline Town Administrator Tad Putney said. “During his first year in Brookline, the ambulance service averaged one call for service per week. Now it averages one call per day.”“The (Board of Selectmen) is grateful for the many years of dedicated service Wes had provided to the residents of Brookline. Under his leadership, Brookline has maintained a dedicated group of volunteer ambulance attendants during a time when finding volunteers for many tasks has become more challenging. Wes has continually succeeded in recruiting and retaining members of the ambulance service that make it the invaluable town asset it is today. He was also diligent with taxpayers’ money”, the board said in a written statement.Whittier said he has enjoyed his time serving the Brookline community.
He won’t be bored. His wife already has a “honey-do list” ready for him.