Windham paramedic program honors 25 years

Print icon

Since its inception 25 years ago, the paramedic program at Windham Hospital has saved countless lives, built partnerships with 16 fire departments and served the 400-square-mile community around the hospital.

In 1995, the town of Windham recognized the need for paramedic or advanced life support services in the Windham and Willimantic area. With the help of Windham Hospital and a generous donation from a community member, the hospital created the 24/7 paramedic program and responded to its’ first call on March 17, 1995. Since then, the program has helped to drastically reduce the mortality rate in Windham county.

“The Windham Hospital paramedic program is considered one of the best in the state, maybe the best in the state, but I’m partial,” said Paul Pedchenko, EMS Manager at Windham Hospital.

Today, the program employs 15 paramedics who work around the clock responding to calls in the community and supporting the Windham Hospital emergency department staff.

The program is also the only one in the state which requires all of its full-time employees to maintain a critical care level of certification, making the team the most highly qualified ground transport service in the state.

“The Windham Paramedic program has long established itself as one of the best programs in the region. The paramedics working in the program continue to provide the highest quality care possible using innovative treatment modalities. It is testament to their alignment with our HHC vision to be most trusted for personalized and coordinated care,” says HHC System Director of EMS, Kevin Ferrarotti.

As the only hospital-based paramedic program in the Hartford HealthCare system the program recently launched a preceptor program to help build a paramedic program at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington. Pedchenko says he hopes to help build paramedic programs at the other Hartford HealthCare hospitals as well.

The program has partnerships with paramedic programs across the state including New Britian EMS Academy, Hartford HealthCare’s paramedic program and Capital Community College in Hartford. The partnership provides paramedics in training with mentoring and ‘ride time’ opportunities with the Windham team. The program also provides training for local first responders and students interested in emergency management services at RHAM high school in Hebron.

“We are very proud and very fortunate to have a strong paramedic program and our hospital and a great relationship with our community partners,” said Donna Handley, president of the East Region.

For more information, about the paramedic program at Windham Hospital, visit

What's New

Nick Kalogeros

The Wait Ends, Dramatically, for Glastonbury Kidney Transplant Recipient

For more than two decades, Nicholas Kalogeros of Glastonbury has known kidney failure and end-stage renal disease were inevitable without a transplant. A rare genetic disease, Alport syndrome, that damages small blood vessels in the kidney and eventually causes organ failure left Kalogeros on peritoneal dialysis the past year as...

Charcoal Grill

Don’t Get Burned This Summer: It’s This Simple

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, fireworks and fun in the sun. With it comes an uptick in burn cases to hospital Emergency Departments (ED) everywhere. Most are preventable. With the proper care and attention, a trip to the ED is avoidable. “Our skin’s function is to protect the body from...


What’s in the Fish You Eat? What About Local Fish?

Fish is a nutritional Hall of Fame protein loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B2, calcium, phosphorous and minerals. Eating low-fat fish at least twice a week, says the American Heart Association, can lower your blood pressure and your risk of a heart attack of stroke. Unless,...

COVID-Related Depression

These Age Groups Most Affected by COVID-Related Depression, Anxiety

Experts call it the underlying crisis. While COVID-19 cases spike around the country, more than a third of Americans report related depression and anxiety. “The spread of COVID-19 leaves people feeling out of control, which is uncomfortable and unnerving,” said Dr. James O’Dea, vice president of operations for the Hartford...