Ambulance association rebuts borough’s claim

Naugatuck-Ambulance

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Ambulance Association says the borough’s claim that its recent change in paramedic coverage puts the community’s safety at risk is inaccurate and “baseless.”

Attorney Dominick Thomas, who represents the association, wrote Monday to the state Office of Emergency Medical Services, or OEMS, stating that new ambulance procedures have been implemented out of necessity to save money.

He says there will be no change in the level of service his client provides.

The borough raised concerns last week when Naugatuck Ambulance Association Director Larry Santoro told the EMS Oversight Committee that he planned to remove a paramedic “fly car” from the borough between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The change, which went into effect Saturday, means paramedics will be dispatched to scenes in ambulances rather than in their own “fly cars.”

If two simultaneous calls require a paramedic, a second paramedic from Waterbury would be dispatched to the second call.

The borough sent a letter to OEMS on Thursday asking the agency to intervene because the lack of a “fly car” during the day creates a potentially dangerous emergency situation and leaves the community with a diminished level of emergency medical service.

OEMS has not responded to that letter, which was written by borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick.

Thomas’ letter, which he wrote in response to Fitzpatrick’s letter, states the ambulance association needs to cut costs because the borough has not paid Naugatuck Ambulance for services for more than a year as the two sides attempt to work out a new contract.

“If there (were) any questions, the borough could have easily engaged (Naugatuck Ambulance) in a discussion on this point or responded to the numerous reasonable and realistic efforts of (Naugatuck Ambulance) to resolve this situation,” Thomas’ letter states. “Instead, the borough chose (to) send the letter to which this letter responds.”

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