In the past 16 months, ambulance companies in Ellsworth and West Paris have closed, and leaders of many rural services say they are one unexpected expense or administrative mishap from closure. (TNS) — Five minutes ago, Kassie Scott was driving the ambulance down Main Street with lights on and siren blaring, but now she and paramedic Steve Smith are parked in front of the response address, sitting in silence, waiting for the police to arrive. The caller said the person was violent. Scott and Smith are trained and equipped to save lives, not defend their own. Protocol requires law enforcement to go in first, but they’ve beaten them there. They’re both anxious to go in – they chose this career to help people – but you never know what’s on the other side of the door: someone high on drugs or having a psychotic breakdown or armed or maybe all three at the same time. A police cruiser pulls in, and Scott and Smith follow the officer into the home. A terrified young woman there thinks a serial killer has been stalking her and now knows her location. She absolutely doesn’t want to go anywhere. After a few minutes, the officer assures her she will be safe and protected at the hospital. N...