Another town commission has pushed back against a public safety claim by Republican first selectman candidate Michael Herbst. Trumbull EMS commissioners on Monday unanimously denounced Herbst\u2019s Aug. 19 campaign statement blaming First Selectman Vicki Tesoro for inadequately funding the town\u2019s Police Department. Herbst, in his campaign statement, had questioned Tesoro\u2019s engagement with the rank-and-file emergency responders, and blamed poor morale and underfunding for an uptick in some crimes, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug possession. In August, the Police Commission\u2019s chairman and vice chairman had responded, labeling the claims \u201cfactually inaccurate and totally irresponsible\u201d and wrote that \u201cPolitics has no place in the public safety arena and Mr. Herbst should know better.\u201d But it was the final paragraph in Herbst\u2019s statement that incensed the EMS Commission. Herbst wrote, \u201cfor the last two years, our Emergency Medical Services have been saddled with constant problems and a lack of adequate manpower to cover emergency calls, with a shortage of paramedics. Our police officers, who are medical first responders, have been stretched to the max.\u201d Herbst went on to claim that weak leadership invites mayhem and that \u201cI will have the back of all of our emergency first responders \u2014 police, fire, and EMS \u2014 should I be elected.\u201d After mulling over Herbst\u2019s comments for a month, the EMS Commission responded Monday. The panel, consiting of Chairman Diane Mayo, Vice Chairman Joel Hirshfield, Philip E. Lukianuk, Matthew Wheeler, Shea C. Gregg, Thomas Kiely, Jr. and Jeffrey Pranger, called Herbst\u2019s claims ludicrous, among other things. \u201cWe are astounded as to where he would have gotten these ludicrous accusations which he is only using for his political gain,\u201d the commissioners wrote. \u201cAlthough Mr. Herbst has stated he has the back of all our emergency first responders, we find that hard to believe when he espouses these inaccurate, demeaning and misleading statements.\u201d The commission continued, \u201cWe have never, and never will lack adequate manpower to cover emergency calls and have our extremely competent and experienced paramedics on duty for all given shifts.\u201d The members went on to slam a more recent Herbst campaign mailer that called a newly created supervisor position redundant. \u201cThis hiring actually saved money and increased our highly trained paramedic response to the community,\u201d the commissioners wrote. \u201cWith the hiring of our Paramedic Field Supervisor, Christopher Simoni, and with our incredible Chief, Leigh Goodman, we often have two extra paramedics available to serve our community, which we\u2019ve never had before. Chief Goodman has in fact covered several calls this month while all three on-duty crews were busy providing lifesaving treatment to Trumbull residents on other calls.\u201d The commissioners concluded by stating that Tesoro had been supportive and receptive to information from the commission and EMS staff, and declaring that \u201cIt is always difficult to work with political mindsets that place the safety of our community second and utilize unsubstantiated statistics for their own purposes. We respectfully request that our esteemed service, and the services we work clos.\u201dely with, be left out of the political realm.\u201d Herbst in reply said that he respected the work that the EMS performed, and the service\u2019s dedicated corps of volunteers, and pointed to the presence of EMS volunteer Dick Mayo on his political ticket this November. Herbst said the source of his comments regarding the EMS were town documents, including Board of Finance and EMS Commission meeting minutes. Specifically Herbst mentioned an October EMS Commission meeting where Tesoro had asked the panel for feedback on its direction, noting \u201cparamedic staffing has been a problem in the recent past.\u201d A month later Deputy Police Chief Leonard Scinto directed police officers that they were not to drive ambulances on medical calls. Herbst also cited a February 2019 audit presented to the Board of Finance that cited Trumbull\u2019s third-party paramedic provider, Vintech, as having occassionally being unable to provide coverage for Trumbull. On those occasions, Vintech contracted with another company, AMR, for coverage. \u201c\u201cIf the people of Trumbull want to confirm this information, they can go to the town website and read the same documents,\u201d Herbst said.