Letter: Trumbull EMS commissioners ‘disenheartened’ by Herbst claims

To the editor:

It was disheartening for the Trumbull Emergency Service Commission to read the comments made by Republican Nominee for First Selectman Michael Herbst recently printed in the Trumbull Times. These comments come right after Mr. Herbst made similar unsubstantiated comments against Trumbull’s Police Commission, whom we support wholeheartedly and without reservation. There are seven members of the Commission and we represent approximately 60 members of the Trumbull Emergency Medical Services.

Republican Nominee Herbst stated, “for 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.”

We are astounded as to where he would have gotten these ludicrous accusations which he is only using for his political gain. Although 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.

We 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. Additionally, Mr. Herbst has sent out a mailer which references our new supervisor position as “redundant” and essentially not fiscally responsible. This hiring actually saved money and increased our highly trained paramedic response to the community.

With 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’ve 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.

Ultimately, Trumbull EMS is committed to ensuring the highest quality of pre-hospital care to our entire community. Their safety is our only priority and at no time in the last two years, has public safety been compromised. On the contrary, in addition to covering 96% of our calls, and ensuring coverage partnerships are in place, TEMS has been a critical component in working alongside Trumbull PD, Trumbull EMD and Trumbull FD to provide extensive planning and support for large scale events, and mass casualty planning.

The current administration has consistently had our back and have been receptive to the educated and experienced advice of our Commission and Chief. They are supporters first and politicians second.

It 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 are very concerned that our community will assume implied admissions, from Mr. Herbst’s unsubstantiated allegations, and lose faith in our service. In fact, Trumbull Emergency Medical Services has been getting better and better by leaps and bounds over the past two years.

We respectfully request that our esteemed service, and the services we work closely with, be left out of the political realm.

Diane Mayo, Chairman

Joel Hirshfield, Vice-Chairman

Philip E. Lukianuk

Matthew Wheeler

Shea C. Gregg

Thomas Kiely, Jr.

Jeffrey Pranger