Cam­pion Am­bu­lance to be sold

Trinty Health of New Eng­land ex­pected to buy en­tire ser­vice

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Les­lie Hutchi­son

TORRINGTON — Cam­pion Am­bu­lance, which has served the city since 1985, is ex­pected to be sold to a multi-state health care sys­tem early next year, ac­cord­ing to the two com­pa­nies in­volved in the trans­ac­tion.

Un­der a pro­posal pre­sented to the Board of Pub­lic Safety on Wed­nes­day, Trin­ity Health of New Eng­land Cor­po­ra­tion, an af­fil­i­ate of a Michi­gan-based health care group, would buy Cam­pion, and “its en­tire am­bu­lance ser­vice busi­ness...,” ac­cord­ing to a memo from its law firm.

Pres­i­dent and CEO William Cam­pion Jr. told the board that af­ter the sale, his com­pany will con­tinue its am­bu­lance ser­vice in the city, but as part of the Trin­ity group.

An as­set pur­chase agree­ment was com­pleted, and the sale is ex­pected to close within 60 days, ac­cord­ing to an Oct. 4 memo from the law firm of Moore Leon­hardt & As­so­ci­ates LLC of Hart­ford.

The own­er­ship trans­fer must still be ap­proved by the state Of­fice of Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices, Mayor Eli­nor Car­bone told the board dur­ing its meet­ing.

William Cam­pion met with Car­bone in late Novem­ber to dis­cuss the pend­ing sale.

“It is our in­ten­tion to ef­fec­tu­ate a seam­less tran­si­tion of our PSA (Pri­mary Ser­vice Area) to Trin­ity Health...” he wrote in a memo.

A pri­mary ser­vice area is geo­graphic des­ig­na­tion as­signed by the state De­part­ment of Pub­lic Health. The sys­tem en­sures a co­or­di­na­tion of emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices to min­i­mize re­sponse times.

“(Trin­ity Health is) na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied. This will raise the bar and let us share in best prac­tices,” Cam­pion noted. The health care com­pany op­er­ates hos­pi­tals in 22 states, their web­site notes.

“It is the first time in New Eng­land for a hospi­tal to take a (PSA) per­mit,” Cam­pion added. “(The sale) will al­low our com­pany to en­hance and sup­port crit­i­cal ar­eas with dis­patch up­grades to be­come ac­cred­ited.”

Im­prove­ment in dis­patch re­sponse times is a key fac­tor in the city’s Lo­cal Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices Plan, which is re­quired by the state to be filed by every mu­nic­i­pal­ity, ac­cord­ing to a draft doc­u­ment of the plan.

“We’re look­ing to tweak and shave off the re­ac­tion call time (for am­bu­lances),” Torrington Fire Chief Pe­ter Towey told the safety board

dur­ing its meet­ing Wed­nes­day night. How 911 calls are han­dled is a key part of the new emer­gency ser­vices plan, he added.

All 911 calls are an­swered by Litch­field County Dis­patch, based in Torrington, ac­cord­ing to the plan, and the in­for­ma­tion is en­tered into a com­puter, which is con­nected to Cam­pion Am­bu­lance Dis­patch. The re­sponse time is af­fected, how­ever, by the need for the county dis­patch to call the Cam­pion of­fice in Water­bury to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion

on the in­ci­dent. An am­bu­lance isn’t dis­patched un­til this third step of the re­sponse triage, of­fi­cials said.

“We want to not call Water­bury, but use a ra­dio link. We think this will work,” Towey said. “It should shake down the re­sponse time sub­stan­tially, by 30 to 60 sec­onds per call.”

“It sounds so ar­cane that we’re call­ing Water­bury,” said board mem­ber Glenn McLeod.

The av­er­age re­sponse time by Cam­pion in 2017 is

6 min­utes and 20 sec­onds, ac­cord­ing to the draft re­port. Those times var­ied, how­ever, when all 12 months are not av­er­aged to­gether, from a re­sponse of 7.5 to 9 min­utes.

“A very ob­tain­able time is (to re­duce) 90 sec­onds,” Towey told the board. “It’s a good point for our ini­tial plans.”

The pro­posed pur­chase by Trin­ity “will give the city of Torrington a chance to take a lit­tle more con­trol over the sys­tem,” Towey said.

Les­lie Hutchi­son / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia /

Fire Chief Pe­ter Towey, se­cond from left, ex­plains how the sale of Cam­pion Am­bu­lance Ser­vice will ef­fect the city. At far right is Fred Rosa, north­west di­rec­tor of oper­a­tions for Cam­pion.

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