Sunday, February 9, 2020

Musings on Hampton Chaplin

Wrote this on another site, thought it came out well enough to preserve in my notes here:

Things that might mostly interest me:

Last all-volunteer ambulance service in my county (serving two towns with a combined population of about 5,000 folks and maybe 250 runs a year) shut down as of 1/31. They had a while back announced 4/1 but the contracts to replace them were in place sooner than expected.

31 years ago when Mortlake started an ambulance, we split from Killingly-Brooklyn Ambulance; at the time they were struggling to handle their call volume that was about 1200 runs a year, and we took 300 off that. At the time we were the first volunteer ambulance in the eastern half of Connecticut to charge; the mechanism that within 15 years allowed most of the volunteer ambulances in our area to convert to at least partial paid coverage. We're now darn close to 1200 alone with a 12x7 paid crew.

KB picked up one of the two towns; Willimantic FD (part of the Town of Windham) which is the only career FD in my county picked up the other. This puts KB covering the towns east, north, and south of us well as running the regional medic intercept.

With the exception of one or two services that have long standing "duty crew or no crew" policies, all the services still rely on volunteer/recall staffing for some of their hours and/or staff multiple rigs during busy periods. (Even Willimantic has frequent call backs for station coverage.)

When the time comes soon for paid overnight coverage I wouldn't object to having it go to KB rather renovating the firehouse to support an overnight crew. Heck, if I had my druthers we'd convert the ambulance staff to Firefighter/Equipment Maintenance Techs and let a regional service cover most if not all ambulance runs. (I wouldn't object to maintaining an "overflow" unit for when you have a flurry of transports at once.)

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