NORWICH – Officials from the City of Norwich have announced that starting on April 1 the Norwich Fire Department will halt providing ambulance coverage beyond its certified areas of need, which could leave remote sections of the county waiting for an ambulance.
Norwich officials say the city can no longer meet the demands or costs of providing coverage to remote areas of the county.
They said the local ambulance systems are reaching a tipping point and the City of Norwich can no longer be relied upon to offer blanket support to area's outside its contracted zones.
There has been a long standing agreement between emergency medical services (EMS) in the county to respond to each others emergency calls. As costs and resources supporting these services has diminished over the years there has been an increasing burden placed on the handful of ambulances remaining active in these rural areas. Often crews, such as Norwich, travel outside their immediate coverage area, where taxpayers are supporting them, to help other neighborhoods and towns in need.
While the City of Norwich ambulance service will continue to provide ambulance aid to the Town of Norwich, Town of North Norwich, Town of Plymouth, and Town of Preston, it will likely halt all other responses. The move again highlights a major concern for county officials to provide coverage.