Southampton still without paramedic services - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Southampton still without paramedic services

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(Image courtesy: MGN Online) (Image courtesy: MGN Online)

Paramedic services are still suspended in Southampton after nearly two months and it's still unclear if they will be restored soon.

Earlier this year, Southampton ambulance paramedics were suspended for not following proper drug record-keeping procedures.  They can only perform EMT services and not paramedic-level services. 

Back when this first started, we were told the retraining would take just a few weeks, but it's been much longer and there's still no update on the process.

"Well, it scares me because I live by myself and I've had a few horrible issues because I'm sick," said Nancy Pierce of Southampton.

Pierce is one of several Southampton residents that remains on-edge with hopes that paramedic services will be restored before she needs their assistance once again. 

Pierce is battling cancer. but is even more concerned about her neighbor with heart conditions.  Both have made that scary 911 call before.

"Five or ten minutes can make a huge difference.  If Linda was having a heart attack, she could have died," Pierce added.

Since paramedic services was suspended in June, the deadline to retrain service members has been pushed back twice. 

As of now, EMTs can only provide basic care if called to respond.  Anything more must be performed by mutual aid. 

Southampton Fire Chief John Workman explained over the phone that everything on their end has been completed and they're just waiting for the certification to be approved by Cooley Dickinson Hospital. 

Meantime, residents must stay optimistic that responders will be able to provide the service they need within due time. 

Calls to the hospital went unanswered Monday.  Chief Workman said that they have been working closely with the state and that paramedics are anxious to get back their title. 

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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