Groton Ambulance Association Inc. responded to what its president believes is a record number of calls in a month.
Taylor Salva said his staff responded to 496 calls for service in October.
Compared to responses from January through October 2016, there’s been about a 300 call increase in 2017, according to Salva. The staff has seen a 22 percent increase in overdose calls and a 35 percent increase in the number of calls involving people over the age of 60.
Groton has an aging population, according to Salva, which means slips and falls are some of the most frequent type calls his organization's crews receive.
"The staffing levels remain the same but the crews have to pick up the extra calls and it can become difficult and easily leads to burnout," Salva said.
While he works to make sure that doesn’t happen, Salva said there are some days where crews don't return to the department all day as they jump from one call to the next.
Increased staffing is not in the cards, yet, Slava said.
"We’re not quite there yet. Although we do have to rely on our mutual aid partners quite often," Salva said. "It’s certainly trending to the point where additional staffing will be needed."
Poquonnock Bridge firefighters respond to several of Groton Ambulance Association’s calls. Fire district Chief Joseph Winski said they have also seen their service requests gradually increase this year. In 2017, the district's firefighters anticipate responding to several hundred additional calls compared to 2016.
"The economy is picking up and the Groton area seems to really be booming at this time," Winski said.
He said there is now more traffic in the area, in part due to Electric Boat’s hiring spree bringing more people into town.
Winski also said recent weather, involving downed trees, power lines and power outages, has had his firefighters out on the streets more than usual.
"We handle it with what we have and they do a phenomenal job. It just means that there’s less downtime and more active time," Winski said.