New Berlin goes to 24 hour paid ambulance service

NEW BERLIN – The Village of New Berlin’s paid ambulance service will soon begin operating on a 24-hour schedule after officials became concerned by the timeliness of off-hour responses.

Mayor Wade Schrag said he meets with the village’s fire and EMS personnel routinely and he made aware of the difficulty in getting EMS volunteers to respond this last year, especially during late night hours.

“Finding volunteers is a challenge many across the county and the state are facing. They do a great job when they can, but we’re finding we need other ways to provide an effective service. We’re trying to look at the best way to provide better coverage and to be able to support that financially,” he said.

Schrag said from January to November, 52 emergency calls between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. in the New Berlin area went unanswered.

“We have had 92 ambulance calls at night which could have been covered by volunteers since January 1, and 52 of those calls were not handled at all. Which means approximately 60 percent of the calls, we were never able to roll the ambulance, and the patients had to rely on Mutual Aid, primarily from CMT (Cooperstown Medical Transport), to cover the call with an average response time of between 35 to 45 minutes,” said Schrag. Schrag said in some instances, callers had to wait more than 55 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

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