Concord Fire MA Recommends Adding Ambulance

Adding a primary ambulance to the West Concord Fire Station (MA) is the primary recommendation of a strategic plan to solidify CFD’s emergency medical service.

Concord Fire Chief Mark Cotreau, and others, feel that CFD, with one ambulance cross-staffed with another piece of fire apparatus, can no longer adequately respond to all requests for emergency medical transports in Concord, a town with about 17,600 residents but a service population closer to 100,000.

The EMS Strategic Plan recommends adding an additional primary ambulance, to be housed at the West Concord Fire Station, and adding sufficient personnel to staff the ambulance a minimum of 12 hours a day, seven days a week — with an ultimate goal of staffing it 24/7 by year five.

A sound EMS system is built on consistency, and CFD has been consistently receiving more mutual aid from neighboring departments than it has been providing in return.

According to a draft presentation of the EMS Strategic Plan report, CFD responded to almost 1,600 medical emergencies, on top of another 1,400 fire-related responses, service calls and minor medical assists.

With only one ambulance, the department struggles to respond to simultaneous emergency calls and therefore has leaned more heavily on mutual aid ambulance assistance in recent years. According to the report’s executive summary, Concord is on track to have at least 235 ambulance transports handled by neighboring departments this year.

The report estimates the addition of a fully staffed ambulance, to be stationed in West Concord, would cover 80 percent of the responses currently handled through mutual aid. As well, this additional ambulance would improve of response times and on-scene wait times, the report says.

Under the recommendation, the current ambulance would continue to be cross-staffed from a crew at the CFD headquarters on Walden Street, and the regional advanced life support system would continue, as well.

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