Eastern CT ambulance service in danger of closing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Eastern CT ambulance service in danger of closing

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GRISWOLD, CT (WFSB) -

An ambulance service in one eastern Connecticut town for more than 70 years said it's in danger of closing.

Griswold Ambulance said cuts in Medicaid and Medicare as well as getting less funding from the town is forcing the non-profit service to consider closing.

The service was started in 1941 as a volunteer service to the community that brought patients to regional hospitals via an old hearse.

With the ever-rising costs in replacing aging equipment and reduced funding, officials said it needs more backing from the town to continue to operate.

"If we don't get $90,000 we just can't operate," said president of Griswold Ambulance Bill Scmyr. "A regular technician would be getting $18, $19 an hour and all we can afford to pay people is $11.25."

Twenty-five part-time employees work out of the same facility. Scmyr said it costs $40,000 a month to operate and cuts from the town to be critical.

The service is now requesting an additional $90,000.

Only $70,000 was approved leaving them $20,000 short.

First Selectman Phil Anthony said Griswold Ambulance isn't the only agency they fund.

"We contribute to a number of organizations that are not legally affiliated with the town but are a service to our residence," he said.

Whether or not the Griswold ambulances will roll on is a decision that will be made down the line. The decision will be left up to the Board of Finance.

The board will meet Tuesday to discuss the funding.

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