Chief Touhey said the town should not experience any additional costs or loss in service, because the town s current contract with a private company, American Medical Response, was negotiated to provide a contingency if the Milford hospital discontinued its paramedic service. In Milford, AMR will transfer its service from basic life support to ALS ambulances when the hospital discontinues its service. Chief Touhey said he also expects that the region s private ambulance companies will probably step up to the plate. Obviously, this is a very difficult decision, said hospital CEO Francis M. Saba. This is a very excellent program, with very excellent service for 20 years. It s more of a service, Mr. Saba said. And there s less need for that service with towns developing their own services. The remaining five towns depend exclusively on the Milford hospital for paramedic service: Hopedale, Milford, Millville, Upton and Uxbridge. Mr. Saba met with fire chiefs from Uxbridge, Milford, Millville, Upton and Hopedale on Monday to inform them of the plans, and met with the hospital s paramedics yesterday morning to inform them of the hospital s decision to discontinue the program next year. Mr. Saba said he will meet with officials from the other affected communities today. Mr. Saba said there is no definite date to end the paramedic service, although hospital officials have discussed ending the program in six to seven months. Hospital officials want to make sure the towns have time to make the transition to contract with private paramedic companies or to develop their own paramedic programs. There are more than 20 paramedics in the service and, of those, nine have regularly scheduled hours while the balance work per diem. Mendon currently dispatches the calls for the Milford hospital s paramedics. There were over 3,500 calls for the hospital s paramedic service in 2007. The problem for Milford Regional Medical Center became how to sustain a paramedic program when 12 out of 17 towns served have some form of their own paramedic service. Most towns do the billing for themselves, though the hospital has a financial arrangement with a few of the towns. Mr. Saba said the tough decision to discontinue the paramedic service stemmed from financial pressures and the trend of towns of providing their own ALS services. Other hospitals have discontinued their paramedic services in recent years. According to Mr. Saba, Caritas Norwood Hospital in Norwood and MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham no longer provide paramedic services. We re looking to see if there is any way to employ them here in some other department, Mr. Saba said. We want to do whatever we can to find them employment here or elsewhere. Milford Fire Chief John P. Touhey said he was at the meeting on Monday for the communities that rely primarily on the Milford hospital s paramedic service. The paramedic program started out as an idea 20 years ago to improve the emergency medical care of patients being transported to the hospital at Routes 16 and 140 in Milford.Milford Regional Medical Center will still provide medical support to towns through their medical staff and their expertise, Mr. Saba said. We have a good relationship with all the communities, and we will work hard to maintain a good medical relationship. We ll all be looking at how to do this with this transition. There at least 17 towns in the paramedic service area. Of those, eight towns already have developed their own paramedic or ALS service: Blackstone, Bellingham, Franklin, Hopkinton, Mendon, Norfolk, Northbridge and Wrentham. Four towns share ALS coverage between the Milford hospital s paramedics and private ambulance companies: Medway, Millis, Holliston and Douglas. In addition, Douglas shares paramedic service with Oxford. These towns all have been extremely supportive of our service, Mr. Saba said. We ve had a great relationship with the hospital and the services they ve provided over the years, Chief Touhey said. He said citizens in Milford will not experience any dramatic difference in service because they have been planning for what they felt would be an eventuality. Realistically, we knew this day would come. This shouldn t be a surprise to anyone as more communities go to their own ALS service. But I know some of the smaller communities will struggle. MILFORD, Mass. — Milford Regional Medical Center plans to discontinue the Advanced Life Support paramedic service it provides to at least 17 area towns sometime next year. Milford is the largest user of the paramedic services, according to Mr. Saba.
OXFORD – Before practice each day this week, there was a video prepared for the Ole Miss football team.It was not the highlights. It was the lowlights — a series of plays and instances in last year’s Egg Bowl, a Mississippi State win in overtime, designed to send the Rebels onto the practice field with that loss still fresh in their minds. Only thing is, for some of them it has never left.“I don’t think our guys will be over it until after we see what happens on Saturday,” cornerback Senquez Golson said.When No. 4 Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1 SEC) comes to Oxford on Saturday (2:30 p.m., CBS) to play No. 18 Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3) in this year’s Egg Bowl, the memories of last year will be close to the Rebels. They’ve lost four of five in the series, and for seniors like Golson, it’s their last chance to at least pull even to .500 against their rival during their career.Others, like tight end Evan Engram, will be playing in the game for the first time. He missed last year’s game with ankle injury and ended up watching the game from his Georgia home.“It’s definitely fueled our fire this year,” Engram said. “Just how that game ended and what their celebration and how they handled winning that game. (Ole Miss’ video department) put some clips together to get us pumped right before practice and bring that bad taste back in our mouth to get us going.”Said Golson: “(Tuesday) at practice we had the most energy I’ve seen in probably the last month and a half.”What happened in that game is familiar to so many: Mississippi State and Ole Miss traded touchdowns just before halftime, and the Rebels tried to hold onto a 10-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. But Dak Prescott, thought to be injured, came off the bench to ignite a Mississippi State rally and led the Bulldogs on a game-tying field goal and a touchdown on the first series in overtime. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace fumbled the ball just shy of the end zone to end the game, his fourth turnover of the night.It was a game Mississippi State needed more — the Bulldogs had to win in order to go bowling, while the Rebels already had seven wins — and it played like it.“It was rough. I don’t think we came to play,” Golson said. “They had great energy, and they’re a great football team. It was just rough. But we remember what happened, and we’re prepared for a fight.”Mississippi State has more on paper to play for again, with a playoff bid and even an SEC West title possibly at stake. But Ole Miss has the chip on its shoulder and is at home. Will that be enough to put the memories of 2013 behind it?“The bottom line is we lost the most prized possession of this university’s football program, regardless of how it ended,” coach Hugh Freeze said. “That’s the facts of it, and it should be enough motivation.”Contact Hugh Kellenberger at (601) 961-7291 or [email protected] Follow @HKellenbergerCL on Twitter. 4 Mississippi State at 18 Ole Miss Saturday,2:30 p.m., CBSVaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford