FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Stratford EMS part of the Fire Department and does it’s Director report to the Fire Chief?

No, Stratford EMS is independent of the Fire Department with it’s own command structure.  The Director of EMS reports directly to the Mayor and Town’s CAO just like the Fire Chief and Police Chief.

How do I get a copy of a run report?
Please call (203)385-4060 and we will supply you with the proper documents that will need to be completed in order to receive a copy of the run report.

Where does SEMS get it’s funding?
Stratford EMS is an “Enterprise Fund” which means that it operates from funds generated from billing insurance companies.  SEMS is NOT subsidized by the Town of Stratford,  in fact, SEMS pays the Town for utilization of services such as HR or Public Works in order to ensure that it’s operations are aligned with the Towns operating guidelines. SEMS bills insurance carriers for the services it provides to patients based on rates set forth by the State of Connecticut.  The insurance carriers pay SEMS and SEMS operates off of that revenue.  SEMS operations have no impact on the tax base in Stratford.  From time to time, SEMS does receive charitable donations from residents, however does not solicit donations by mail. Read the EMS Enterprise Fund Ordinance

Why does the ambulance sometimes not come to the scene with lights and sirens on?
Stratford Public Safety Dispatch uses software that prioritizes each call based on the severity of the patient.  This software system is mandated by the State of CT. When you call 911, the dispatcher uses a series of important questions from evidence based protocols to determine if the severity of the situation warrants the ambulance to proceed with lights and sirens.

National studies have shown that driving with lights and siren will reduce the response time, on average, by only approximately 90 seconds for every five miles of travel. While this time savings may be warranted on some calls, medical science has shown that this time savings is not necessary on all calls.  Any emergency vehicle that travels in excess of the posted speed limit with lights and siren on obviously poses a considerable increase in risk of injury to not only the responding crew but other motorists on the road.  Lights and sirens responses are therefore saved for those severe calls where quick response is absolutely necessary.

Why does the ambulance not go to the hospital with lights and sirens, even if they respond to the scene with lights and sirens?
While this may seem like the appropriate thing to do, we transport only those who are near death or critically sick or injured to the hospital with the fastest possible means while maintaining due regard for safety of ourselves and others.  As in the above question, we rely on our medical knowledge, our assessment of the patient, experience, and an evidence based care approach to appropriately treat each and every patient.

We at SEMS, pride ourselves in maintaining highly trained medical professionals who have a great deal of experience and knowledge of evidence based emergency medical practice to provide the best possible outcome to your friend/family member.  Our primary responsibility is to the health and welfare of the patient and to transport him/her to the closest, most appropriate facility for definitive treatment in the most stable condition possible.

Much of what we do is not mere transport, but to initiate quality, effective, and efficient medical assessment and treatment prior to the patient arriving at the hospital.  On most calls, the patient stability does not warrant the need of the use of lights and siren, or we were able to stabilize the patient prior to transport to the hospital.

I have a question about a bill I received for an ambulance transport. Who should I contact?
Please contact our billing department Toll Free at: (888)858-2178 or via e-mail at: stra@digitechcomputer.com

Does Stratford EMS have wheelchair vans to transport patients to non – emergency Drs. appointments or to and from nursing homes? 
No, Stratford EMS only responds to 911 requests for medical emergencies in the Town of Stratford.  There are several local, private ambulance service providers that can be located online or in the phone book who will provide these services.

Who do I contact regarding a missing item inquiry?
Please call (203)385-4060 and ask to speak with the Administrative Assistant

Is Stratford EMS a “Paid” service?
Stratford EMS is a mixed volunteer/paid service.  We have over 100 volunteers (including 5 volunteer supervisors), ten full time staff (5 Paramedics, 2 Operations Supervisor’s, 3 Administrative staff), and approximately 30 “per diem” staff (EMT, AEMT & Paramedic).  This model allows us to dynamically respond to Stratford’s needs.  In 2013 our volunteers logged over 25,000 hours.

How many calls does Stratford EMS do per year?
You can view our Statistics page here.  Stratford EMS responds to approximately 6500 911 emergencies each year! This places us as the fourth busiest EMS Service in Fairfield County (just behind Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk). Stratford has two major highways running through it, a fixed and a rotor wing airport at the north and south ends of town and a rail station in the middle. Stratford boasts one of the longest coastlines with beautiful beaches and one of the largest town owned forests in the State. There are two skilled nursing facilities and several urgent care/walk-in clinics in town. All of this contributes to a very diverse call volume which SEMS is always prepared to respond to.

How can I sign up for training classes?
Please visit our Training page  or call (203)385-4060

How do I schedule a ride along with Stratford EMS?
Please call our EMS Administrator at (203)385-4060

How do I become a volunteer with Stratford EMS?
We are always recruiting volunteers into our organization. If you are state of Connecticut certified EMR/EMT/AEMT/Paramedic you can download our volunteer application here or stop by our headquarters at 2712 Main Street, Stratford. If you have no certification, SEMS periodically offers “public Emergency Vehicle Operator courses” as a opportunity to volunteer with SEMS and give back to the community.