Topsham Fire Chief Brian Stockdale told the Board of Selectmen at its Sept. 6 meeting that the new overnight paramedic coverage instituted July 1 has cut down on response time as planned.

During an update near the start of the board’s meeting, Stockdale said the purpose of providing the overnight paramedic program, was to decrease response times and also to decrease the workload on himself and the town’s EMS director, Mike Labbe, “as well as to provide the continuity of care between day and night, and I believe we’ve done that. I believe it’s already noticeable.”

In July and August, Topsham Fire and EMS received 206 ambulance calls and 60 of those calls were night calls. Of those 60 calls, Stockdale said the department has decreased its response time by approximately 10 minutes, and is averaging less than 6.5 minutes for response time for every night call, “which is exactly what we wanted to do.”

More than 90 percent of the time Stockdale said there is a paramedic on duty and there is always an Advanced Life Support person on duty. The town has hired nine paramedics to work per diem and all are cross trained and provide additional support for the fire department — most from within or associated with the department and four from without. There are seven paramedic applications waiting, Stockdale said, but the department currently doesn’t have slots for them.

Other business

Pam LeDuc, Parks and Recreation director, informed the board there are now two new information kiosks and two new toilets at the Head of Tide Park, which benefited from other construction and work done by about 30 members of the Army National Guard at the park site. The Guard will return Saturday to finish roofing the pavilion.

LeDuc said there is approximately $40,000 left in the Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant for the park to spend between now and December. Selectmen should have bids to consider awarding in October for ground work and landscaping.

Selectmen also:

— Watched a demonstration by Police Chief Christopher Lewis on the new RAIDS Online crime mapping and analysis program now available for free to the department and public.

— Voted to renew the lease for another two years with the MidCoast Maine Community Action Head Start Program.

— Voted to adopt financial policies that put in writing current financial practices in town guiding the fund balance and debt.

— Appointed Joshua Spooner to the Planning Board.

— Tabled discussion on a proposed cable TV franchise agreement for a 10-year period with Comcast, to allow selectmen to get more information, such as on paid channels.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: