The Mortlake Fire Company provides ambulance service for the Town of Brooklyn. They operate a volunteer ambulance service and maintain a staff of over 40 Connecticut certified Emergency Medical Technicians. In addition to responding to emergencies, ambulance volunteers train on a monthly basis and also participate in State of Connecticut mandated training to maintain their certification. Other training activities such as defibrillator, mass casualty, helicopter familiarity and other specialized training are available for members. Increasing call volume has placed pressure on the volunteer responders that is beyond their capacity. Following regional trends, starting on January 1, 2007, volunteer response was supplemented with a paid daytime crew.
The ambulance service is operated on a user payment system. All residents who utilize the service bill their respective insurance companies to provide payment for the service. Experience to date has shown that third party payers are responsible for nearly all the payments.
The ambulance service is part of a mutual aid network that allows access to neighboring ambulances, or, if needed, other resources such as medical helicopters. A regional paramedic program has been established at Day Kimball Hospital and is partially supported, in proportion to their use of the service, by the towns that operate out of the hospital. This service is dispatched through Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications located in Danielson and is available for any life-threatening emergency. The paramedic responds from the hospital and usually intercepts with the ambulance en route to the hospital. Operating under the medical control of the Hospital’s Emergency Physician the paramedic is able to administer drugs and provide a wider range of procedures than are EMT’s.
Serving as an ambulance volunteer is very rewarding way to develop valuable skills while contributing to the community. Interested residents are encouraged to discuss participating in this worthwhile activity with members of the Mortlake Fire Company. Volunteers who are available during the daytime are particularly needed.