EMS eyes major changes

Trumbull could soon see changes to its Emergency Medical Services, as the town has begun mulling over potential changes in its service model, according to First Selectman Vicki Tesoro.

“In consultation with the EMS Commission and EMS staff, we are undertaking a reorganization of the EMS service, including the selection of a service model that works best for Trumbull,” Tesoro wrote in a statement on the town website. “The importance of this service to our community demands a careful, thorough review. We should all expect and appreciate that this review will take time. Please note that, while all options remain on the table, no decisions have been made.”

Changes to the town’s EMS service have happened before. The town used to have an all-volunteer service. More recently, the town has contracted with professional EMS providers for emergency medical technician and paramedic coverage, while continuing to also have volunteers running ambulance shifts.

“We don’t have any town employees that are paramedics, we do that through a company,” Tesoro said. “And we’re looking at every option. We’re looking at models of hybrid service from other towns, hybrids of our own model. There are so many options.”

The EMS Commission will study the issue and decide which model to pursue, Tesoro said. The hope is that by the end of the year the town will have some idea which model to pursue. Actually making the change will take longer, she said.

The change is being driven by a number of factors, including the reduced availability of volunteers.

“Our volunteer force is not as robust as in the past, and while we continue to deliver quality service to Trumbull, it is not clear that we are doing so in the most efficient and cost effective manner,” Tesoro said.

The goal, she said, is to provide service that is equal to or greater than the town currently has based on service, staffing levels and cost.

“While cost is a key criterion, nothing we will do will put our citizens in jeopardy at any time,” Tesoro said.