EMS budget prompts big changes

Already, capital budget discussions have led to action by the BOS and BOF. When it became apparent that the Emergency Medical Services department (EMS) was planning to request a large increase in it's capital budget for the coming fiscal year, the BOS began to explore options to outsource ambulance service in order to save the town money.

The EMS capital budget request which prompted this move was said to have included $100,000 to purchase an ambulance to replace a twelve year-old vehicle currently acting as a backup to the department's primary rig, and an additional $300,000 to construct a building to house the two ambulances.

On Dec. 18th by the unanimous votes of the EMS Commission, the BOS and BOF, the town entered into a contract with American Medical Response (AMR) to furnish EMS service to the town in addition to the paramedic service AMR already provides. The new ambulance and EMT service, combined with the ongoing paramedic service, will save the town more than $510,000 in operating funds alone over the next six years — avoiding the $400,000 in proposed capital expenditures completely. This new three-year contract will be reviewed after six months to ensure that all criteria are being met, including timely arrival of ambulances.

This new ambulance and EMT contract will not effect the arrival time of a paramedic however, as the AMR paramedic will remain on duty at all times in the Center Building and will respond immediately to emergencies in the paramedic vehicle, Medic 44, which contains all the emergency equipment needed to begin advanced life support services. In addition, all police officers in Woodbridge are certified as Medical Response Technicians with Defibrillator training (MRT-D), and these defibrillators will continue to be available in each squad car that responds to an emergency.