Changing demographics, technology and regulations were the major reasons First Selectman Ed Edelson said he decided to initiate a study of the future of Emergency Medical Services in Southbury.
Currently, Southbury is served by three independent ambulance associations: Southbury Ambulance Association (SAA), Heritage Village Ambulance Association (HVAA), and Southbury Training School (STS) Fire/Ambulance. The town also contracts with Campion Ambulance Service, which provides paramedic intercept services when additional onsite skills are required.
These organizations coordinate with each other and with the Southbury dispatch to ensure that the town’s emergency medical needs are met within a minimal response time, with the maximum expertise in a very cost-effective manner, according to the town.
“Southbury residents are fortunate to have such dedicated volunteer and paid medical personnel at the ready to respond to their medical emergencies,” the town said in a release.
As part of an ongoing assessment of services provided to residents, and in light of the changing business models for emergency services nationwide, including reduced number of volunteers and the ever-increasing demand for medical responses, the town said it seemed prudent to have some knowledgeable people review Southbury’s current arrangements and offer observations and recommendations on ways to improve.
Based on a competitive bid process, The Holdsworth Group was selected to provide an Analysis of and Strategic Planning Approach to Emergency Medical Service delivery in Southbury, according to the town.
A Steering Committee, which includes stakeholders in the emergency services business, has been formed to aid with the study and to ensure the Holdsworth team has access to all the various organizations involved in EMS dispatch and response.
Members of the Steering Committee include Geralyn Hoyt (SAA), George Goodwin (HVAA), Timothy Baldwin (STS), Rick Lyle from the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Fran Owen from Heritage Village Master Association, Cpl. Brian Hughes representing dispatch and Selectman Donna Pereira, the liaison to the Emergency Medical Services group.
The study is expected to be completed within a few months and is intended to provide a clear vision for the future for Southbury’s EMS system as well as all entities participating in it, including efficiencies and sustainable business models given the changes in demographics, technology and demand for service, according to the town.
“The active participation of everyone on the Steering Committee is a key component to the eventual findings, recommendations and resulting action plan and we are grateful for their help in this important endeavor,” the town said in a release.