Charlotte Hungerford Initiates Regional First Responder Program to Reduce Emergency Response Time

Participating Regional First Responder Program members present at the signing ceremony include: (Back row, left to right) Paul Rabeuf, EMS and Emergency Management Coordinator, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH), John Capobianco, Vice President of CHH Operations, Matthew Ludwig, Chief, Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department, Jeff Liskin, Training Coordinator, Litchfield County Dispatch, Aaron Franzi, Deputy Chief of Administration, Harwinton Ambulance, Chris Dillon, Lieutenant, Winsted Area Ambulance Association. (Front row, left to right) Kitty Hickcox, Chief, Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance, Rita Wabrek, President, New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance, Nicholas Maltby, Vice President, New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance, and Rachael Dillon, President, Winsted Area Ambulance Association.

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The Regional First Responder Program is an innovative program in northwest Connecticut that allows participating ambulance services to respond to emergencies affecting the citizens within their neighboring communities.  Several EMS agencies in Northwest CT, working with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and Litchfield County Dispatch, have developed a new mutual aid agreement that enables EMS personnel that may be closer, to respond when 911 is activated. The 911 dispatcher will notify a member of the Regional First Responder Team to go directly to the scene and provide care in any of the participating towns. 

“The cooperation of the chiefs and their ability to see the “big picture” and create solutions is what is novel about this program in CT. Getting a trained first responder quickly on scene is the most important part of the chain of survival after the immediate care of a bystander– it doesn’t matter which service the responder belongs to as long as they get there quickly.” said Nicholas Maltby, AEMT, Vice President, New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance. 

Participating Emergency Services include Harwinton Ambulance, New Hartford Ambulance, Norfolk Fire Department, Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance, and Winsted Area Ambulance Association.  The program was developed over the past two years with the assistance of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, its Medical Director and EMS Coordinator, and Litchfield County Dispatch. These organizations came together in late November to finalize and sign the agreement detailing their cooperation and committing to moving forward with the initiative.

“In life-threatening situations, such as seizures, cardiac or respiratory arrest, or severe traumatic injuries, inter-agency cooperation and a regionalized response ensure the patient gets the best medical care and gives the patient the best chance for survival.” said Aaron Franzi, Harwinton EMS Deputy Chief of Administration.

“Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is honored to be a part of this important conversation and initiative with our local EMS service providers as we work together to assist area residents get the most immediate responses to their health needs. This is an innovative new approach to responding to emergencies developed with everyone’s input and expertise. We thank everyone for working on this critical plan and look forward to implementing it with success.” said John Capobianco, Vice President of Operations at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.”


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