WALDOBORO — Waldoboro Town Manager Julie Keizer said the future of the town’s emergency services is a life-and-death situation.

“I don’t know what we’re going to look like in three weeks,” she said.

At the Sept. 28 Select Board meeting, Keizer said Waldoboro is facing a serious emergency services staffing shortage by the end of October, because of the vaccine mandate.

“This is not political to me,” Keizer said. “It is about providing a vital service to residents.”

Three emergency medical technicians who work for the town will lose their jobs at the end of October because they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Keizer said it is likely they will leave before then, as they must find another job.

Each of these EMTs work 32 hours a week.

Keizer said she cannot get an answer from anyone in a position of authority about how to deal with this issue. She tried Maine Municipal Association, the Maine State Emergency Management Association, the Maine Center for Disease Control and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree’s people. “Nobody can tell me what plan B is,” she said.

Emergency services in Waldoboro are already severely short-staffed.

Keizer said there is currently no coverage for Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2. No drivers, emergency medical technicians or medics will be on staff those days.

“That’s what we face every week now,” Keizer said. She is working hard to recruit people, but this is an issue all over the country.

The town even tried to offer a pay increase for weekends to cover these shifts.

Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer said the EMS shortage has been affecting the fire department too, as they are helping staff the EMS shifts.

Keizer said the Waldoboro Police Department is also short-staffed, as is the Lincoln County Sheriff Department.

“This is an emergency services crisis that is going to have far-reaching effects,” she said. “The current solution is to be transparent about the problem.”

Residents may have to wait for an ambulance, or EMS from another town may have to be sent.

Keizer said towns are anxious to use the American Rescue Plan funds to pay for broadband, but using those funds to recruit and train emergency services employees might be a better idea.

Board member Bob Butler said a town to the south would be losing 28 municipal employees at the end of October. Playing chicken is not the answer, he said.

In other business, Keizer said the Volunteers of America discovered some significant safety issues with the AD Gray building that must be addressed.

Butler said the Volunteers of America suggested demolishing the current building and rebuilding it with the same materials.

Some of the support for this project was to preserve the building, Keizer said. Because the current options on the table are not what voters approved at the June Town Meeting, Keizer suggested it go back to voters.

No action was taken, but the board authorized Keizer and Town Planner Max Johnstone to investigate Brownfield Program grants and to speak with the town attorney about the options for the building.

The town will also fence in AD Gray, though the building provides no imminent danger at this time.

The board approved the Conservation Commission request to name the park located at 50 Kalers Corner St. the Medomak River Rest Area.

Keizer said the town had discovered wetlands at the current location for the community center with Lincoln Health.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection would be reviewing the site. Keizer said the town and Lincoln Health were looking at other sites, and remained optimistic about the current site.

Butler spoke about the Municipal Review Committee, which is a group of 115 Maine cities and towns that have joined together as a nonprofit to manage municipal solid waste.

The Municipal Review Committee has issued a notice asking permission to terminate their lease with Coastal Resources of Maine.

Multiple board members spoke in support of Oktoberfest, which will occur Saturday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cider Hill Farm.

The Select Board approved a beer and wine license for The Waldo Theater.

The primary events were listed as concert and plays, and Keizer said there were no police concerns about the license.

The next Waldoboro Select Board meeting is Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.