First responders demand additional funding be included in this year's state budget

EMS departments in Fairfield and New Haven counties tell News 12 that a lack of state funding due to tight fiscal guardrails has caused concerns.

Tom Krosnowski, Rose Shannon and Nicole Alarcon Soares

Mar 23, 2024, 5:07 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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First responders asked lawmakers on Saturday for additional state funding during a meeting at Monroe EMS headquarters.
EMS departments in Fairfield and New Haven counties tell News 12 that a lack of state funding due to tight fiscal guardrails has caused concerns.
“We were on 17,000 calls last year across five units. We’re in the process of adding an additional unit. The strain on our system now also impacts our neighbors,” said Stamford EMS Deputy Chief Jessica Anderson.
First responders said every second counts in a cardiac arrest rescue. Equipment like the LUCAS-CPR machine helps Fairfield and New Haven County emergency medical services personnel provide life-saving care every day.
But budget concerns were at the center of Saturday’s legislative breakfast at Monroe EMS - specifically Medicaid reimbursements. EMS officials say Gov. Ned Lamont has pulled funding they were expecting. The governor cited the need for a study on Medicaid reimbursement rates.
Additional funding would aid in the recruitment and retention needed to meet the demand. The bipartisan group of legislators say balancing this demand with this year's budget will be challenging.
"This is a really tight year with our caps, and it's going to be a tricky conversation, so I'm not going to sit here and pretend this is something we can definitely do," says State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield).
"It would be perpetual tax increases and overspending if not for the caps, so I think it's a matter of priorities," says State Rep. Dave Rutigliano (R-Trumbull).
The current legislative session runs through May 8.


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