Excerpts from kenoshanews.com:

Tuesday night saw the end of a 73-year-old tradition. The Burlington Rescue Squad, a volunteer emergency medical service that has covered the City and Town of Burlington since 1946, officially disbanded when the clock struck midnight. The writing was on the wall for the rescue squad’s dissolution for quite some time. Volunteerism is down and call volume is up. In April, the Rescue Squad and City of Burlington Fire Department jointly announced they were entering negotiations for a merger. The Burlington Rotary Club oversaw the nonprofit rescue squad for the entirety of its existence. For many years, the squad also provided service to portions of Walworth and Kenosha counties and part of the Town of Dover in Racine County. But in recent years, call volume had reached 1,300 to 1,600 annually, an unsustainable level for the volunteer entity.

With the end of one era begins another. The City of Burlington Fire Department will now run EMS calls in the town and city, picking up where the rescue squad left off. In preparation, the fire department elevated its service to the level of the rescue squad by obtaining advanced EMT licensure, the second-highest EMS certification. The city also allocated more than $360,000 for new hires in the 2020 budget, and the rescue squad agreed to give the fire department an ambulance and various equipment.

About 20 members were on the all-volunteer rescue squad. One has applied to join the city and others plan on joining other agencies such as the Rochester Volunteer Fire Co., Lyons Fire Department, Madison Fire Department, and Waukesha Fire Department. Others will take time off.