Wilton Ambulance Service director moving on to new job

WILTON – Gary Zirpolo received an offer he couldn’t afford to resist, including higher pay and shorter hours.

And, Zirpolo said, “I can go back to being just a paramedic.”

Zirpolo, who has been director of the Wilton Ambulance Service for eight years, and was with the department for several years prior to that, will leave July 25 to join a private ambulance service in Massachusetts as a field paramedic. The Wilton Ambulance Service also serves Lyndeborough and Temple. He serves as the town’s health officer, from which he also resigned.

“I’ll miss my crew, all the good people I work with,” he said last week. “I love walking down Main Street in a small town, knowing everyone. I’ll miss that.”

But Zirpolo said he thinks he has accomplished some goals while in Wilton.

“We’ve brought the emergency services closer together in all three towns,” he said. “We’ve finally gotten to the point where all departments – fire, police and ambulance – can work together on a scene. We have a good working relationship, what we have all served for.”

The Wilton Ambulance Service, which began as an independent service in Wilton and Lyndeborough in the 1970s, is mainly volunteer. It became a Wilton department a few years ago because of insurance questions. The first full-time director was hired in 1992.

Since then, Zirpolo told selectmen last year, calls for service have increased 120 percent. At that time, there were 10 paramedics and eight people in training, and he needed more.

The service will be run by his two assistants, he said, Karen Artemik and Robert Cole, until a new director is named.

Town Administrator Scott Butcher said Monday that an interim director for the Ambulance Service is being sought.

“We’ve made some progress,” he said.

“We’ll decide who will be involved in the search,” Selectmen’s Chairman Bill Condra said. “It will give us time to find a permanent full-time director.”

Selectmen made no further comment on Monday, saying it would be discussed in a nonpublic session.