SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Southampton’s ambulance service is limited after the state suspended the fire department’s advanced life support certification. The state cites a lack of record keeping as the reason.
The truck of Fire Chief John Workman was parked at the station and an ambulance was sitting outside. We knocked on the Chief’s door and asked him for an interview. Instead, Chief Workman wrote down the phone number of Southampton Selectman Charlie Kienicki.
Not being certified in Advance Life Support would require firefighters to call for paramedic support from another ambulance service if they’re required to administer drugs.
Kienicki told 22News, “It will cause the dispatcher to notify the surrounding towns if a paramedic level ambulance is necessary. The problem when you talk about response time, is Southampton is a large community. If you respond out of Westfield and respond out of Easthampton. There’s a lot of overlapping time where one of the other communities may meet up with the Southampton ambulance at the same time.”
Stephanie Bulduc of Westhampton said, “It’s just any small town issue. It’s going to take a few minutes for people to get there. They are all on call for the most part. There are only usually one or two in the station. It’s going to take some time.”
Kienicki told 22News the ambulance service is still available for emergencies, and said the situation should be cleared up in a few weeks, once all the fire department personnel go through a retraining process.
Kimberly Russell of Southampton said, “For a small town we are actually kind of big. It’s very important for them to get there in a timely manner.”
22News has been covering ongoing issues at the Southampton Fire Department.
In April, a firefighter admitted 911 calls were missed, and the Select Board will meet this coming Tuesday to determine in Chief Workman’s contract allows him to live in Easthampton, where Kienicki says he’s currently living, less than 5 miles from the fire station.