Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Wilton ambulance and mull fire department share space
Published: 05/19/2021 3:49:44 PM
Wilton Ambulance and Fire Departments are exploring the idea of merging their physical locations, with Wilton’s Ambulance potentially relocating to the larger fire station.
Sherry Miller, manager of Wilton Ambulance, which has been working for less than a year, said she became interested in a possible integration after learning that the ambulance bay was rented and did not belong to the city.
She said she was interested in separating the bunk beds from the ambulance bay, to ensure separation for the sake of COVID-19 social distancing. However, she was informed that the building did not belong to the city.
Miller said that was when she contacted Fire Chief Don Nourse about the possibility of merging the ambulance and fire stations.
The fire department underwent a major renovation several years ago, significantly expanding the space.
Although Nourse is a full-time member of the department, the chief position is the only full-time position in the department, approved only last year by voters. The rest of the department is on call.
Miller said there was ample room for the two Wilton Ambulance vehicles, with minor adjustments, and that a small renovation could accommodate an additional office for Miller. Meeting and training spaces could be shared.
Miller said the current proposal, as presented to the Budget Committee and Special Council, is not to completely merge the departments.
Administratively, they would continue to be separate entities, with separate budgets and chains of command. They would share some costs affiliated with the building, such as the cost of heating, electricity and internet, which would result in savings for both departments, as well as the ability to donate the cost of Forest’s current ambulance bay. Road.
If that happened, the move would not require approval by the city assembly, but only by the special council. Miller said the process would likely take time to receive feedback from Greenfield and Lyndeborough, who are receiving services from Wilton Ambulance.
Miller said that although the move is about 2 miles from the current ambulance bay, the increase in response time would be minimal for Lyndeborough, which is in the opposite direction of movement. That would add around 2 minutes and 30 seconds of response time in the worst case, and there are points in Wilton where the response time would be reduced as well.
Miller and Nourse introduced the concept to both the city budget committee and the special council, and at this point received the blessing of both councils to continue exploring the concept of space sharing, but Miller has stated that it was still “very conceptual” at this point. However, she says, she hopes the plan can move forward sooner rather than later, possibly as early as this summer.
“For me, the sooner the better. The sooner we can leave our current building, the sooner we can start saving, ”Miller said.