166 Burlington Road
Harwinton, CT 06791
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Harwinton Ambulance a Volunteer Service?
Absolutely, our members are all volunteers and do not receive hourly payment for their services. The only financial reward offered to emergency services volunteers in the community is through our volunteer benefit program. This program was started as a member retention/recruitment tool in and is utilized by both fire departments and the ambulance service. For more information on this click here.
2. How many calls a year does the ambulance respond to?
In 2016 the Ambulance Association responded to 391 medical calls and 90 Fire Department support responses for a total of 481 runs. Click here for additional response information.
3. How many volunteers does the Ambulance Association have?
The Harwinton Ambulance Association currently has approximately 50 active volunteers.
4. How can I join or volunteer my services to the ambulance?
The Harwinton Ambulance Association is always looking for new volunteers. Click here to go to our membership page for more information
5. What if I want to help but don’t want to be an EMR or an EMT?
You don’t need to be an EMR or EMT to help out. If you have another area of expertise, such as accounting, law, administration, automotive maintenance, event planning, information technologies, etc. and would like to volunteer a few hours per month, we’d love to have you. Volunteers are also welcome to assist with our ongoing fundraising efforts. For more information, click here.
6. Why does the ambulance contract with staffing service?
Our mission has been and continues to be the same, to provide prompt and efficient patient care while showing concern and compassion during your time of need. In order to supplement the lack of available volunteers primarily during the weekdays, we began contracting with an outside EMS management agency to supplement the shifts that could not be covered by our volunteer members. While this option creates an additional expense for our organization it also ensures that there is never a time when our community is without available response personnel.
Assistance with shift coverage by an outside EMS management service or other EMS provider is utilized by approximately 52% of the volunteer ambulance services in Litchfield County. Some services have resisted the idea and there are times when they must be dispatched 2 or 3 times before they can get a crew together or they end up calling for another town to respond. We felt this was not an acceptable practice and took steps to ensure this never happens in our community.
It is the policy of Harwinton Ambulance to request bids from the two primary companies in the state that provide this service when the contract in place is up for renewal.
7. How much is Harwinton Ambulance using a staffing service?
Volunteers cover approximately 60% of our shifts; the staffing service is used to cover the remaining 40% of the time. The staffing service is only used when there are no volunteers available to commit to a shift. This is typically during the weekdays when our volunteers working full time jobs out of town are gone.
8. How is the staffing service chosen?
At the end of an existing contract it is the policy of the Ambulance to request quotes from the two companies in the state that specialize in this service. At the time of the last contract expiration period we opted to continue with Vintech, our current provider.
9. Can a private ambulance company provide a cheaper service?
At the request of Harwinton Ambulance the Board of Selectmen has recently requested an RFP from commercial ambulance services to determine if it would be more cost effective method of providing EMS coverage for the Town of Harwinton. The lowest price given to place an ambulance in town was $455,000 a year. This is significantly more expensive than the current $128,000 with 2.5 increases over the next 5 years a year the Town contributes towards our operating expenses. Additionally the town sets aside roughly $20,000 a year towards the rotating replacement program for our ambulances. Based on these numbers our organization saves the taxpayers of Harwinton roughly $300,000 a year over a commercial service.
10. Why does the ambulance bill residents that are transported?
In order to reduce our operating costs to the taxpayers of Harwinton, the ambulance currently bills the patient’s insurance company direct. Click here for more information on our billing policies.