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The original item was published from 10/3/2017 2:24:00 PM to 10/18/2017 12:10:02 AM.

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Posted on: October 3, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Fire Department Staffing Study Calls for an Additional Ambulance During Peak Times

R-12 (A-2) ambulance

A Fire Department Staffing Study for the Town of Amherst was delivered to the Select Board at its meeting on Monday night. The Study was prepared by The Carlson Group, a national public safety management consulting firm. The Study was designed to conduct an evaluation of the staffing for the delivery of fire and emergency medical services in the Town and to make specific recommendations for future consideration

Several recommendations were included in the Study. The most significant suggested that the Town staff an additional ambulance during day time peak-periods as a trial that would be evaluated after at least one year. The study noted that this model is consistent with the peak weekend staffing approach being used by the Town through its partnership with UMass.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said, “This study is professional analysis by a nationally recognized consultant of the detailed data provided by the Town. It lays out the steady increase in call volume for medical services and makes a recommendation for adding staffing.” He added, “These recommendations will be taken very seriously but must be weighed in the context of constraints and competing demands on the Town’s budget.”

Fire Chief Nelson said, “This is a good first step. It will start a dialogue regarding how to best address the need for increased staffing. “

The Study furnishes numerous conclusions based on its analysis of four years of call data, including:

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) make up 80% of the Amherst Fire Department’s call volume.
  • Call volume is subject to seasonal variability with peak times in early Fall and Spring.
  • Increased call volume is primarily from calls from within Amherst.
  • Call volume is subject to variability during the time of day, with peak times being between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.
  • The Department consistently meets the target response times, even during times of high volatility. Services sometimes require supplementary support for the Call Force, Student Force, calling back regular firefighters, and Mutual Aid from neighboring communities.

Here is the complete text of the study and the presentation made to the Select Board.

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