Plans to add another ambulance in works in Southbury
SOUTHBURY — Days after questioning the need for another ambulance in town, the president of the Southbury Ambulance Association said plans to add another ambulance crew and a medic are in the works.
The association has been working on staffing a third ambulance for some time, said Geralyn Hoyt, president of the Southbury Ambulance Association on Wednesday.
“The plan is always to add as the needs increased,” she said.
The news is counter to what Hoyt told Hearst Connecticut Media earlier this week in response to First Selectman Jeff Manville’s concerns about response times increasing due to the recent loss of one of the three 24/7 ambulances that served the town last year.
“Why?” Hoyt asked when a Hearst reporter asked her about Manville’s insistence on the need for a third 24/7 ambulance. “Is there a need? Has someone determined there’s a need?”
The association recently began serving the area previously covered by a 24/7 ambulance at the Southbury Training School. With the shut down of the training school’s ambulance, the town went from having three 24/7 ambulances to two.
The association is still determining when the third crew will be added, but Hoyt said Wednesday it is doubtful the ambulance will run 24/7.
“There’s not a need for it 24/7,” she said.
Southbury Ambulance Association and the Heritage Village Ambulance Association operate the two 24/7 vehicles, while the former has a second ambulance that does not operate on nights or Sundays.
The Southbury Ambulance Association also plans to add a paid medic within the next 30 to 60 days. The association currently only offers basic life support services, while the medic would provide advanced life support.
Adding a medic will cost roughly $60,000 to $80,000, which is paid for through donations or billing payments the association receives, Hoyt said.
“Southbury ambulance is investing in all the equipment, supplies, mandates that come affiliated with becoming an ALS (advanced life support) service,” she said.
The medic will not work 24/7, but Hoyt said those services may be added on a 24/7 basis in the future.
Medics serve the town through Southbury’s contract with Campion Ambulance Service and currently ride with the Southbury and Heritage Village ambulances, she said.
The hope is that the town can end its contract with Campion, saving some money once the Southbury association hires a medic, Hoyt said. Heritage Village does not yet have a medic, she said.
“The goal is to work out something, so it’s going to be cohesive for everybody,” Hoyt said. “But I don’t know what that answer is because EMS is over regulated, very regulated and changes often.”