Bristol fire chief asks Village Board to consider full-time EMTs

Bristol Fire Chief Peter Parker asked the Bristol Village Board on Monday to consider authorizing the hiring of full-time EMT/I99s to better staff medical calls.

The only current full-time employee of the department is Parker. Department staffing for medical calls specify a EMT/I99 respond. That staffing is now addressed with paid on call personnel, some of who are also Department of Public Works employees.

In making his case for considering full-time EMTs, Parker said that the department often loses its trained personnel to other fire departments, where they can get a full-time job. When that happens, as it has more frequently of late, it causes difficult staffing. If the department starts from scratch, an EMT/I99 takes about two years to be certified.

“It’s getting to where we’re having to re-adjust people all the time to meet our needs,” Parker said. “This is one way we can balance that.”

Peter Parker

Three full-time EMTs could cover all shifts on a rotating basis, Parker said.

“One of them would be on duty all of the time,” Parker said.

Trustees were open to examining the possibilities, but were focused on justifying and paying for any additional cost.

“It’s going to be expensive; we re going to have to justify it to the constituency,” Trustee Carolyn Owens said.

Village administrator Randy Kerkman pointed out all of the cost would not be additional, since the full-time EMTs would perform some of the duties now filled by paid-on-call personnel.

Without the requirement that they seek the EMT/I99 certification, the village also would have a larger pool of people to choose from when filling public works posts, Parker said.

Parker said his thought in bringing up the issue now was to perhaps have something worked out by the next annual budget.

Parker had suggested a committee examine the details, but board members appeared to be in favor of the whole Village Board participating along with Parker and Kerkman. The board scheduled a workshop meeting for 7 p.m., April 16 to begin discussing the issue.

“If you get more information, you can make an informed decision,” Trustee Ruth Atwood said.



  1. Just Wondering says:

    I thought that the high powered, out of state Fire Chief that the Town of Bristol hired 15 years ago (Peter Parker) assured he would have people in the fire department at all times without a financial burden to the town when he was hired. Seems like that was a smoke screen to sound good to get hired. Drive by the firestation and see when anybody is there. When it’s convenient not when needed. Sure the EMT’s are going to leave for a full time paid department where pay and benifits are better. It’s a fact of the fire service that the Volunteer departments train people for a better job later. Maybe someone should look at the Fire Chief’s track record from the past years and see what else he promiced to do when he was hired.

  2. Little T. says:

    If your not on the department you wouldn’t understand from the person that wrote the last post. We are always short I because they are constantly gone. Parker has saved the town alot of money over the years, and has more knowledge then most on a fire scene sounds to me that you just have a problem with him because he is from out of state. He is trying to even make it cheaper by cutting the work staff down to one a night instead of two. So if you don’t know please don’t talk like you do. Thanks.

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