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Office of the Town Manager

Paul E. Cohen
Town Manager 50 Billerica Road Chelmsford, MA 01824-2777 978.250.5201 Fax: 978.250.5252

September 6, 2007 TO: Board of Selectmen FROM: Paul Cohen, Town Manager RE: Revised Fire Department-Based Ambulance Proposal

At your August 27, 2007 meeting and during the past two weeks, public safety concerns have been raised regarding the Fire Department-Based Ambulance proposal. The most critical issues have been (1) the response time for a mutual aid ambulance on those infrequent ocs n w e t T w toa bl cs ol hv a cai s hn h o nsw m u ne w u ae l o e a d ready been called into service; and (2) the ability of the Fire Department to respond to subsequent emergency fire and medical calls w e t T w toa bl cs a b in service, hn h o nsw m u ne m y e e a such as when transporting patients to a hospital. To address these concerns, I revisited the concept of a Fire Department-based ambulance in partnership with a private ambulance provider. In this model, the Town of Chelmsford would operate one primary response emergency ambulance. Each time an emergency ambulance is dispatched, the private ambulance provider would bring an ambulance into town in order to respond to possible subsequent emergency medical calls. The partnership model parallels the current model of emergency ambulance service provided to Chelmsford residents. Trinity EMS stations an ambulance 24/7 at 15 Cushing Place. When an ambulance is dispatched into service, Trinity EMS mobilizes another ambulance into town to be available to respond to subsequent emergency medical calls. As you may recall, I pursued this possibility with Trinity EMS during the period of August 9 August 23. Trinity EMS declined this option. PrideStar EMS and Patriot Ambulance, Inc., two other locally owned and operated ambulance services have expressed interest in a partnership with the Town of Chelmsford at no cost to the Town. I have previously e-mailed you the proposal from PrideSTAR EMS and expect to receive a response from Patriot Ambulance on Monday. Under the partnership model, a fu o t T w stle i s t n w u b open l or fh o ns a lt fe ti s ol e l e ei r ao d and staffed with two Firefighter/EMTs. The Center Fire Station, which would house the ambulance, would be staffed with a maximum of 6 and a minimum 4 Firefighter/EMTs. The Fire Department would respond as the primary ambulance. Upon dispatch of the T w a bl c, the private ambulance contractor will send an ambulance to the o ns m u ne a

community to respond to a subsequent emergency medical call. If the private ambulance is dispatched on an emergency medical call, another private ambulance would be dispatched into town. This pattern would be remain in place ut t T w a bl c n lh o ns m u ne i e a has returned to town and is back in service. The other aspects of the original Fire Department-Based Ambulance proposal remain. The Town would still hire five full-time Firefighter/EMTs. A total of 14 Firefighter/EMTs would be assigned per shift, with a minimum of 12 per shift. All of the fire stations would be open. Since the Town would be operating only one ambulance, the number of transports by the Town ambulance would decrease by approximately 292 per year. The financial model projects net revenue from ambulance operations of approximately $218,000 per year. This includes an adjustment to replace the T w ambulance every four years, instead of o ns a five year vehicle service life. As in the original proposal, about $105,000 of this net revenue is needed to provide a minimum complement of 12 Firefighter/EMTs per shift in order to keep all five fire stations open. I have attached revised financial spreadsheets based upon this partnership model. I look forward to discussing this revived proposal with you on Monday evening.