June 26, 2013
Windham Fire/Rescue History by Ernie Nichols
The town’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS)has been in place since the early seventies. The service started out as a group of volunteers who would respond to calls on an as needed basis. This remained in effect until the middle of the 1980’s, when the demand exceeded the capacity to deliver the service on a regular basis. As the town grew in population so did the demand for service. The rescue would expand with the town’s growth. Presently the department staffs the ambulance around the clock with a fulltime Paramedic /Firefighter and a partner, who will be a staff member from the call force. The fire-rescue department has four Firefighter/EMT’s that work from 7 AM until 7 PM, we commonly call this the day shift. They are assigned to fire apparatus in the North Windham Station and at Windham Center Station. The Chief and Deputy work the day shift Monday through Friday and hold EMS license’s as well. The current delivery system for EMS is a fire based system. This system is used nationwide and the fire service is on the front line for the delivery of medical response for the sick and critically injured. This system allows a community to respond to calls for aid in a reasonable amount of time out of Fire Stations; we have four stations, North, South, East, and Central. Currently both of Windham’s rescues are out of Windham Center Station located at 375 Gray Road. Outlying stations have response vehicles with lifesaving EMS equipment. On occasion members get asked the question why the fire truck is present if they called for an ambulance. Our mission is to help people as soon as possible with the closest resource the department can deploy; time is a very important component in the life saving business. Seventy percent of the Windham Fire-Rescue calls for service are now emergency medical in nature. The department has and will continue to evolve to meet the growing needs of the community for emergency medical services in the Town of Windham. In the 2013-2014 budget the department has requested two additional per diem personnel for North Windham Station from 7 PM to 7 AM.