A six-bay, 14,500-square foot ambulance garage is a step closer to construction at Fairfield Hills. The Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Association Inc. (NVA) Board of Trustees on June 12 voted unanimously to move forward with an estimated $4.5 million new emergency medical service facility on the corner of Wasserman Way and Mile Hill South across from Reed Intermediate School.
The NVA’s “commitment to the needs of the community, and the desire to serve those needs,” includes the investment of $3.2 million in board-designated reserve funds. Soon a fundraising campaign will begin.
Regarding the investment, NVA President Bob Grossman, MD, said, “We felt that the time was now and that this urgent need could not wait any longer. At stake is the long-term viability of what is, and we expect will continue to be, the best emergency medical service in the region.”
The corps is all-volunteer with one paid paramedic, and it staffs its current facility at 77 Main Street 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
“We are investing in a new EMS building at Fairfield Hills because we believe in its future and in the future of Newtown,” said Corps Chief Kris Peterson.
Board member Bruce Herring said, “Proceeding with the building project represents substantial evidence of our faith in Newtown, its people, its enduring culture and its leadership.” He expressed confidence that the NVA “is doing the right thing.”
Planners have already selected a builder, the name of which won’t be released until contracts are signed, according to Mr Herring. The new building will break ground by this summer, he hopes, and walls and a roof will be up in time for winter. NVA expects to be in the new location by the summer of 2014,
Designed with brick and white pillars, the building will blend with current Fairfield Hills architecture, and offer garage access from the front and rear of the building allowing vehicles to drive through. The two-story facility will include room for meetings and EMT training, which are both conducted offsite of their current location. The new structure will hold six bedrooms compared to the one available now.
An official fundraising campaign will soon begin, Mr Herring said.
According to a press release issued by the NVA, it is “launching a capital campaign to seek philanthropic investment. The needs of the community and the urgency of serving people shows that the campaign cannot wait.” The NVA is engaged in strategic planning and is identifying infrastructure, program, and life-saving equipment needs, the release states.
Mr Herring thanked First Selectman Pat Llodra “for her leadership, and for encouraging us to make the investment in our town’s future.”
NVA members feel that the experience of working with the town “has been remarkably positive.” The NVA’s Building Committee Chairman and longtime corps volunteer Stuart Rieve thanked members of the Fairfield Hills Committee, the Inlands Wetlands Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, town officials, and members of the Building and Land Use Department, including Land Use Director George Benson and Public Works Director Fred Hurley.
The NVA volunteers have served the town for 73 years, providing basic and advanced life support, and paramedic services.
A new building will solve challenges that exist because of deficiencies in the present location. In 1978 the NVA completed 600 calls. Last year members completed 2,200 calls — an increase of 367 percent.
Checks in support of the project may be made payable to Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Association Inc and mailed to 77 Main Street Newtown CT, 06470.