Serving Glastonbury Since 1957

Common Questions

How much of my tax payment goes to Glastonbury EMS

None! We are a private non profit organization. We are not a town department. The town of Glastonbury does not support us financially in any way. We purchase our own ambulances, equipment, provide our own insurance and pay for the building we occupy behind the Police Department. We pay for the staff we have without any support from tax payers!

We are able to accomplish this by billing health insurance for services. All ambulance providers in the state operate this way and are regulated by the State of Connecticut.

What is the difference between an EMT, AEMT and Paramedic?

The Office of Emergency Medical Services regulates the scope of practice for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) and the Paramedic.

The EMT class is approximately 180 hours long and provides training in basic life saving skills.

The AEMT is an additional 200 hours after the EMT and provides additional training for accessing patients.

The paramedic program is approximately 1200 hours and builds on the EMT training, with additional skills for monitoring cardiac rhythms, ability to administer medications for pain, respiratory distress, cardiac arrhythmias, allergic reactions and many other medical emergencies. Paramedics can place endotracheal tubes (breathing tubes) and perform surgical airway maneuvers if necessary.

Paramedics are also required to attend continuing education ever year in addition to maintaining ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) and PALS (pediatric advance life support) certifications.

Paramedics function under regional protocols created by a team of emergency physicians. They are truly an extension of the emergency room.

What happens when I call 911?

When 911 is called from a land line within Glastonbury, the call goes to the Glastonbury Police Department Dispatch center. The Dispatcher will ask questions from Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) program to determine what type of response is needed. The Dispatcher will send an ambulance based on the answers to questions and the Dispatcher will determine whether the ambulance responds with lights and sirens or with normal flow of traffic.

In Glastonbury the Police Department is the designated First Medical Responder, and is usually sent to a request for an ambulance unless it is a medical facility, such as a doctor’s office or nursing home.

Why do I have to answer so many questions when I call 911?

Dispatchers use Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), a system where questions are asked to determine the possible nature of medical emergency and the safest response from medical providers.  Not all requests for 911 are emergencies requiring lights and sirens. EMD also guides the dispatchers in the level of care needed.

Why did Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association (GVAA) change it’s name to Glastonbury EMS?

When Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association (GVAA) was formed in 1957 it was made up entirely of volunteers and only provided ambulance transport. Over the past 15 years the town of Glastonbury has gone through tremendous growth, seeing this the board of directors of GVAA have changed the mission of the association. We no longer provide just ambulance service, we also provide training, standby services, and a bike team.

The term “volunteer” is no longer the most accurate term to describe the service. We are still run by a volunteer board and have many volunteers that ride shifts, however the large increase in call volume required and innovative solution to staffing the ambulance in order to guarantee 24/7 coverage. We retained the services of Vintech, they allow us to hand select EMT’s and Paramedics to work on our ambulance, in our uniform and under our control to provide the best care possible to the residents of the town. In most cases these employees have many years of experience and are very highly trained.

With all the growth GVAA has experienced, in order to provide the best care for the town, we decided to change our name to Glastonbury Emergency Medical Services.

Why do I get 2 ambulances and a police care when I call 911?

The Glastonbury Police Department is the first medical responder for medical emergencies in town. Glastonbury EMS is the primary ambulance service for the town. Medical emergencies requiring a paramedic require that an ambulance from the Ambulance Service of Manchester (ASM) respond to provide paramedic treatment.

Is Glastonbury EMS a volunteer organization?

Yes, and no. Glastonbury EMS Does have a dedicated group of volunteers. The service is run by a Paid Chief, with the assistance of an all- volunteer Board of Directors.

In addition to our dedicated volunteers, we utilize paid staff (at no cost to the town) to guarantee staffed and highly trained ambulance crews 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.