ELLSWORTH – City councilors in Ellsworth are weighing options for the future of EMS services.
Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper spoke at Monday night’s city council meeting about potentially creating a partnership between EMS and the fire department.
The city’s current ambulatory service is owned by a private entity and has been for decades.
Chief Tupper suggests both fire and police team up with the private ambulance company to enhance services to citizens. He said, “I do believe our citizens have the assumption and the expectation that when they dial 911 because of an emergency they are experiencing, to have an appropriate response of trained and experienced personnel and equipment to mitigate their incident.”
Chief Tupper said having firefighters trained in EMS services would help fulfill the community’s needs when multiple calls come in for emergency medical services.
Tupper also noted that other towns, like Levant and Brewer, have successful partnerships between EMS and the towns’ fire departments.
One woman said she once waited 20 minutes for an ambulance while her mother was struggling to breathe. She added when she called again to check on her ambulance, the person on the phone asked her to call the fire department for help instead.
Ellsworth’s police chief said some sort of partnership with EMS would be in the best interest of the city.
City councilors said the item will be on the agenda again next month for further conversation.