The union representing Amherst’s career firefighters, who handle both fire and medical calls, is renewing a plea for more robust staffing levels, pointing to a continued increase in the use of off-duty firefighters for emergencies and firefighters responding solo to structure fires and car crashes.
In a letter posted on the Amherst Fire Fighters Local 1764 Facebook page addressed to Amherst residents, Matthew Sposito, president of the union, writes that the town’s staffing philosophy remains unsustainable.
“The fire department resources are being stretched far too thin on a regular basis, despite no longer having a contract to service the town of Hadley,” Sposito wrote.
The letter comes in response to a report from Hadley on its first year of having its own ambulance service, Action EMS, instead of depending on Amherst to provide medical service. Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, Action EMS transported 894 patients.