Our History

New Canaan EMS was founded in February 1975 by eighteen residents of New Canaan as an all-volunteer ambulance corps.

Operating from the basement of Town Hall, NCEMS was initially staffed by volunteers riding shifts from 6pm to midnight. NCEMS ambulance fleet consisted of a Cadillac station wagon for three years.  In early 1978 a used Horton ambulance was acquired and added to the  “fleet”.

In our first year of operation, shifts eventually expanded to 12 hours each weekday and 24 hours on weekends, and we responded to a total of 80 emergency calls. The Lions Club purchased radios and pagers for NCEMS members in early 1976.

In May 1987, NCEMS became certified to use defibrillators and we experienced our first “save” later that year.  In 1996, the Town contracted with Norwalk Hospital to provide 24 hour paramedic service. The paramedics work in conjunction with NCEMS volunteers and are trained to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) services. Later in 1996, the NCEMS fleet expanded with the addition of a Paramedic Response Vehicle (fly car) donated by the residents of New Canaan.

NCEMS headquarters moved between Town Hall and the Red Cross in the early years.  In March 1983, NCEMS moved into its first dedicated headquarters, a former school shop facility located next to the Police Station at 182 South Avenue. This facility had space for two ambulances and was also our first with sleeping quarters so that members could respond from headquarters 24 hours a day. This location served as NCEMS's headquarters for 26 years.

As call volume and membership grew each year, so did the demands on our headquarters.

The heating and air conditioning systems, communications, security, as well as living and working conditions eventually became inadequate. Thanks to the generous support of the Town of New Canaan and its residents, construction of a new LEEDs certified headquarters building was completed in June 2009. Providing state of the art facilities in which our volunteers can work, sleep, and train and ample space to house our fleet of emergency vehicles, our new headquarters will enable us to continue to grow as an organization and continue to serve New Canaan with the highest standard of care.

During our first year of operation we had 11 volunteers responding to 80 calls for help. Currently, over forty years since our founding, we have over 50 active volunteers, respond to more than 1650 emergency calls annually, and anticipate providing many more years of service to the Town of New Canaan.