Cuts, But No Band-Aids!


EMS Budget Cuts

Here we go, the gavel drops again. Rumors are circulating that the latest thing that our “esteemed” Chairmanwoman, Beth DaPonte, wants to do is suck money out of Stratford’s EMS, to the tune of about $100,000 to $200,000. Of course, salaries aren’t affected because EMS is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, at zero pay, and per diem (daily) Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, whose pay ranges is about $19-$23/hour with no overtime or bennies. So, where will that money come out of? Operations, of course, which means less money for ambulances, medical equipment and supplies.

Madam Chairwoman, wouldn’t it be better to institute furlough days or a moratorium on raises for say a non-union Town Employee or School Administrator?

What say you Madam Chairwoman?


7 Responses to “Cuts, But No Band-Aids!”

  1. Jez,

    Seriously? Take money out of EMS? That’s Daponte’s solution?

    The BOE asks for an additional $8 million and she wants money from EMS? The next thing you know she’ll be pushing for another raise for the Economic Development Director or an increase in fees for the Town Attorney. Maybe another $1+ million tower truck. We only have two now.

    What happens to people when they walk into Town Hall? It must be the water, right?

  2. Well you are not entirely correct regarding this statement. “EMS is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, at zero pay”. At last count of the approximately 100 or so staff only 34 were volunteers that had enough hours to vote in a special internal election to select the 5 volunteer members of the EMS Funding Committee. If you look at the EMS fund budget over the past few years you will note paid staff costs on the rise. The department has a paid director, another as Administrator, 2 full time paid supervisors, 5 full time paid paramedics, a full time secretary and about 50 – 60 part time employees. I should know as I have been a member for the past 29 years and there are few shifts staffed solely by volunteers. Ask the finance director for the past couple years or so of ems funding reports and you will see that the revenues are below projection and expenses continue to rise.

  3. Maybe we can sell EMS for $30 or $40 thousand? Just like Gavin Forrester wanted to do with the WPCA.

  4. no need to sell it if your making money from it.

  5. At least that’s what the voters say

  6. And speaking of WPCA where’s my refund promised by some candidates for council?

  7. 7 jezebel0691

    So, Gavin, it wasn’t inaccurate. What I said was there are both volunteers and low-pay staff. With 168 hours in a week to be covered by the 5 paramedics, that’s only 1 paramedic on duty at a time. Is that accurate? So, do we now need to call-ahead for care for heart-attacks, strokes, overdoses, etc.? Does see a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? According to the CDC Fact Sheet, in the US, a heart attack happens every 43 seconds. And, each minute, someone in the US dies from a heart-disease related event. Also, the CDC Fact Sheet for stroke indicates that someone dies every 4 minutes from a stroke. Now, let’s add to that that horrible thing that is overtaking Stratford – heroin. I’ve heard there are calls every week for drug overdoses. Last year, how many deaths from heroin overdose in Stratford? I think I heard 17. With cuts, would Stratfordites be properly cared for during medical emergencies? I would hate to think a loved one of mine might die from a heart attack or stroke because of budget cuts, but if funds are cut, it doesn’t seem like there would be enough paramedics to go around in Stratford.

    All in all, if as you commented, revenues are down and expenses are up, why would money be cut from EMS? That would be like selling the $100 million WPCA for $11 million, wouldn’t it?

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