The Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectmen just confirmed arrangements for a joint meeting at 7:30 PM on Monday April 10 to discuss the pending Advance Life Support (ALS) town meeting warrant article and the town’s ALS situation and its solution.
The town’s private ALS service providers ceased supplying ALS services on short notice to the town last year, and the town now relies on mutual aid from Westwood, Walpole, and Norfolk to supply ALS intercept services as needed.
On average, the Medfield Fire Department has two ambulance runs per day and where about 25% of the runs require ALS services, therefore the town averages one ALS run every other day.
Before announcing his retirement, Chief Kingsbury had recommended the hiring of six full time firefighter-paramedics to provide the ALS service, at a present cost of close to $500,000 a year, which was exclusive of the retirement pension and retiree health care costs the town would eventually pay later.
Other possible alternatives include:
- hiring a private service to provide the needed ALS service (estimated at $600,000/year); and
- seeking a regional solution with the surrounding towns that also do not now provide ALS services – Dover, Sherborn, Millis, and Medway.
It really comes down to a policy decision of both how much the town is willing to pay to have the paramedic answer the calls when the ALS services are needed, and how best to have the paramedic there when needed from among the various options that are available.