Frequently Asked Questions

Are you REALLY a volunteer service? I hear you have paid employees.

Yes, we really are a volunteer service. The vast majority of service hours spent on the ambulance are performed by volunteers; your friends and neighbors who truly want to make a difference in people's lives. Paid personnel are generally used during the day, when most volunteers aren't available. And yes, we do have some volunteer paramedics.

How is the SVAA funded?

The Suffield Volunteer Ambulance bills for the service we provide. In addition, our Trustees organize a yearly fund raising program in which a letter requesting financial support for specific items goes to each mailing address in Suffield.

How much training do I need to volunteer for the SVAA?

Different levels of certification take different amounts of time depending on the type and who is sponsoring the class. Here is a list of approximate hours:

CPR - Approximately 25 hours
EMR or Emergency Medical Responder - 90 hours
EMT or Emergency Medical Technician - 200 hours
AEMT or Advanced Emergency Medical Technician - 150-250 hours after EMT certification
EMTP or Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic - 1500 hours

How much time will I have to commit if I join ?

The SVAA asks that you commit to 24 hours a month. That time can be four six-hour shifts, two twelve-hour shifts or one, long 24 hour shift. We have bunk rooms for individuals who want to do overnight shifts.

I'm not sure I really want to be an EMT. Can I try riding the ambulance before committing so much time and effort?

Yes, we offer a ride along program for individuals who would like to ride on the ambulance once or twice to see what it is like. If you are doing a ride along, you are not permitted to do any patient care or be involved in any way other than observing the crews. You can find a copy of our guideline and waiver form on our Forms page. Some people become "CPR-Drivers" which is our lowest level of certification requiring the least amount of training.

I have a question about my bill. Who should I call to get an answer?

EMSI Service, a company in West Suffield, does our ambulance billing for us. You can contact them directly at 860-668-3885.

How can I get a copy of my ambulance run report?

Print and complete a copy of our HIPAA Information Release form from our Forms page and send it to the office manager at our mailing address. You will receive a copy of your report within thirty days.

I'm still in high school. Can I join the SVAA?

Yes! We have an Explorer program for teens in high school between the ages of 14 and 18. You will find the form to complete on our Forms page. For more information about our Explorer program please contact us using our Contact Page information.

Are there other things to do other than patient care ?

Yes. We can always use administrative and maintenance help. If you are interested in non-care provider volunteering, please contact us using our Contact Page information.

I have a question that isn't here. Where can I get the information?

If you have a question that isn't covered in our FAQs, please contact us using our Contact Page information.