Letter: Ambulance corps deserves support

To the Editors:

The front page article about the Wilton Ambulance Corps I hope results in financial support from town residents. These dedicated volunteers are available day and night and go through extensive training in order to provide our town with immediate service during this most critical part of a patient’s, or victim’s, pre-hospital care during transport to the emergency room.

While there are a number of volunteer commissions and boards in town that hold various planned meetings, the ambulance personnel do not have that luxury planning their agendas. State and federal requirements have greatly increased the cost of delivering EMS services. Wilton meets those requirements, but because the corps is for the most part a volunteer group, personnel cost is minor as compared to other town services. There are no unions, overtime costs or pensions for these dedicated volunteers.

The initial planning for an ambulance corps began in 1976 due in a large part to then resident Tom Wetzel, as well as the beginning of state regulations mandating the training of emergency medical technicians. Formal operations in Wilton began on July 1, 1977. The need for service became obvious when the emergency room director at Norwalk Hospital contacted Wilton about the lack of care patients were receiving in the Cadillac ambulance operated by the police department. The practice then was to “drive like the devil” and get to the hospital. The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was when the ambulance arrived at the hospital with a patient who had rolled out of the stretcher, the driver and attendant were in the front seat!

Wilton spends a lot of money on many projects. While it is great we are concerned about saving open land and trees, I would hope we also are concerned about saving lives! Please help support the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps; it is a great organization and it is there for you if you need it.

Chauncey O. Johnstone

Charter Member, WVAC

30 Tory Place