History of Glastonbury EMS
Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association (GVAA) has been in service since June 1, 1957. The Glastonbury Police Department in conjunction with Civil Preparedness and the Auxiliary Police Force made up the twenty men who formed a strong foundation which has brought us, 60 years later, to the present Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc dba Glastonbury EMS.
Ambulance service was provided free of charge, staffed by volunteer members 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Contributions and fund raising allowed for the purchase of equipment and vehicles. By the early 1970’s the State developed a curriculum requiring specified training for all staff riding on and operating all ambulances. The State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) regulates the prehospital emergency medical services for the State of Connecticut.
OEMS determines the level of care an ambulance service may provide and the number of ambulances a service may have. OEMS also determines the geographical area an ambulance service can respond to and the equipment required dependent on the level of care provided.
The ambulance was housed behind the Glastonbury Police Department in the building currently used by Glastonbury Police Department and Glastonbury Emergency Management. In 1992 the Town of Glastonbury built the current building behind the Glastonbury Police Department to allow for the increased needs of GVAA. The building has 3 ambulance bays, 2 bunk rooms, a kitchen, sitting area, office and training room. The training room is used by various Town agencies when available.
Early responders were allowed to be at home or work as long as they could respond in 5 minutes to the ambulance or scene. Businesses such as Ripley Insurance, Nickel Insurance, Monaco Ford, C&W Manufacturing, Buckingham Shell, and from time to time the Town of Glastonbury Police were willing to allow the employees that were certified as EMT’s to respond from work.
The town census was growing fast, with businesses growing also and the volume of calls was rising. By the mid 1980’s the levels of training increased to include Paramedic and Intermediate as well as the basic provider level. Insurance Companies were willing to pay for the Emergency Service, and in 1994 GVAA petitioned the Town of Glastonbury to allow us to charge for services and was approved. Only individuals who are transported by an ambulance service are billed for services. There is no charge if there is no transport.
In 1984 GVAA petitioned the State of Connecticut to provide Intermediate level of care to the Town. Several members became certified as EMT-I, to provide a higher level of care. An agreement with Ambulance Service of Manchester (ASM) provided paramedic level of care when needed and ASM is the backup responder when GVAA is on another call. In 2009 The State of Connecticut changed the title from Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate (EMT-I) to Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
Revenue generated allowed GVAA to purchase equipment, vehicles and assist with the increased cost of education for members. Our membership has remained a volunteer based group, and because of the economy and fewer volunteers with the continued increase in call volume we have needed to employ staffing to maintain our 24/7 coverage. We have a crew available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a second crew on from 7:00am to 7:00pm. We frequently add another crew when a storm is predicted.
In October 2014 the State of Connecticut approved GVAA’s application to become a paramedic level provider. We are licensed to operate 3 ambulances in Glastonbury. GVAA is in the process of upgrading to the paramedic level.
In December 2014 paperwork was submitted for Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association dba Glastonbury EMS. This decision reflects the operations of Glastonbury EMS. We provide emergency medical pre-hospital care when needed, but we also provide CPR and first aid training, stand by for community activities such as races, and the Applefest. It also reflects the change in staffing to include our paid staff along with the volunteers. In 2016 Glastonbury EMS was licensed to operate 4 ambulances.
Glastonbury EMS responds to approximately 3,000 calls for medical assistance annually. Approximately 70% of the calls require transportation to a local hospital. We are still growing, there is still a volunteer commitment, and we are committed to continue providing caring, knowledgeable assistance and transport of sick and injured persons in our town.
In 2017 Glastonbury EMS celebrates 60 years of service to people in Glastonbury.
For information on becoming a member of Glastonbury EMS please contact us via phone at 860-633-6554 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org