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Bethel officials sign contract renewal for ambulance service

Western Connecticut Health Network has proposed services for the Bethel paramedic program.  The Board of Selectmen has authorized the Town Attorney to negotiate a three year renewal agreement.  Bethel is currently subsidizing the paramedic program at a cost of $275,000.  Emergency Medical Services Commission member Tom Galliford gave some more details to the Board.  
Galliford says 2017 was a record year, with over a 1,000 calls.
He noted that the bid from Danbury Ambulance did not include a backup paramedic, only one dedicated paramedic 24/7 365 days a year.  Bethel currently has a back up paramedic.  Galliford said that is an important consideration because Bethel works with Redding.  The Danbury Ambulance bid did have an option for regional response, but it was $100,000 more.  
Selectman Paul Szatkowski raised a concern about the arrangement with the neighboring town.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker noted that there is an update to the agreement.  He says Redding officials have agreed, in writing, to share a prorated cost of the three vehicles and the cost for maintenance, fuel and insurance.  Call volume for Redding was about 22-percent and Redding will be invoiced yearly for their share.

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