It’s been a long time coming, but the Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service may finally be on track to make its move into a new modern facility in 2022. 

The building project is progressing, according to EMS Chief Jonathan Arnold. The EMS Association has narrowed down the site choices to a few pieces of land and hopes to present them to the town in January, he said.

The EMS just sent out its annual appeal, and this year’s fundraising has something extra special. A generous donor has offered to match the money raised up to $150,000, according to Arnold. 

EMS officials and friends have been trying for years to leave its outdated, 92-year-old building at 448 Sport Hill Road and move into a modern and accessible headquarters. Built in 1925 and originally a firehouse, the building has housed the EMS since 1988. Its deficits are well documented: Building Issues Mount as EMS Searches for a New Home

If things go according to plan, the service will complete a land purchase early in the New Year. EMS officials will sit down with town officials, hire an architect and complete all the steps required to bring the project to fruition.

Roughly $2 million could be available through the  American Rescue Plan. But time is of the essence to qualify for the funding. “We don’t want to miss out on the ARP money,” Arnold said. 

“The need for a new EMS headquarters is something that almost everyone in town agrees to,” First Selectman Dr. David Bindelglass said. “I think everyone is supportive, not only of the need for the new headquarters but of the EMS in general.”

Bindelglass cited the two examples of the family who held a holiday bake goods sale to benefit the EMS and the generous donor to the annual appeal. “Easton has always been a generous town,” he said. “I hope people will consider the EMS in their donations and match the donor’s pledge.”

As they go into the holidays, Arnold said the service is looking forward to a bright future. “Hopefully 2022 is going to be our year!” he said. 

Photo at top: Chief Jon Arnold with one of the outdated pipes found in the basement. —Tomas Koeck Photo

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.