2011-07-28 / Letters to the Editor

JEMS, Fire Dept. merger going well

Last year the town of Jamestown commissioned an outside evaluation study of the EMS provided by the Fire Department and Jamestown EMS. The report detailed areas where the consultants felt services needed improvement. Over the past few years several articles and town gossip has centered around the quality of service and the members of the Jamestown Fire Department and Jamestown Emergency Medical Services.

A Public Safety Committee was formed to review the existing services and come up with a plan to continue providing quality patient care to the sick and injured and to evaluate just where we are at with a predominately volunteer service staffing our EMS in town.

There is strength in numbers.

The committee consisted of Police Chief Thomas P. Tighe, Lt. Angela Deneault, Fire Chief Jim Bryer, EMS Chief Lennart Nilsson, EMS Deputy Chief Janine Tatzel, EMS Deputy Chief Daniel Donaghue, Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero and me. Finance Director Tina Collins also attended some of our meetings to assist when needed.

The world of EMS is forever evolving. Mandates and protocols set by the regulatory agencies are constantly being increased. It is a difficult and demanding field. For this reason the committee found that it made more sense to have one agency providing all EMS. As one department, the resources available are increased dramatically and less stress is put on a smaller group of responders. Now the merged department has a larger group of responders. Administrative duties, medical oversight and training are streamlined and everyone will operate under the same policies and standards.

Many members of the committee had an issue with the report and what was said about the quality of the JEMS responders. I can assure you that they are and were competent and provide the best of services to this community. Over time, regardless of what field we are in, things change, mergers occur, streamlining of services occurs and improvements occur. For this reason it made sense to merge into one department and that is what the memberships of both organizations chose to do.

Being involved in this transition and being asked to be in charge of the EMS/Training Division of the Fire Department has allowed me to meet and work with the members of JEMS. I have found them to be dedicated individuals who have one goal, to help others. For all the friends, family and members of the community I know I can assure you this is a positive development for everyone. The members we have are committed to helping others and they all work very hard for all of us here in Jamestown.

As of July 1, JEMS and the Fire Department formally merged and the transition is going well. The members are excited and we started a new chapter in the public safety response system in town. I’m proud of the members and I have the utmost respect for all of them. When you have an emergency, you can be assured that our members will show up quickly, provide high-quality care for you and your family and be there to help you in anyway we can.

Howie Tighe
Deputy Chief
Jamestown Fire Department

Return to top