GEMS Gets Green Light for New “Substation 4” on King Street

A highlight of last week’s Planning & Zoning meeting was the approval of an MI for a new station for Greenwich Emergency Medical Services “GEMS.”

Finally, a proper building will replace the temporary trailer at 1327 King Street that has served as the substation for eight years.

The trailer will be removed and a new 3,134 sq ft structure will be constructed with a garage, front porch, walkway, and ramp.

The current driveway will be updated to create 5 parking spots of which 1 will be ADA compliant. The attached garage will have 2 additional spaces for the parking/storage of GEMS vehicles.

By housing the ambulances in the two bay garage rather than outside, the engines won’t need to kept running.

“Right now when you’re up at the temporary trailer, the ambulances have to be kept running because they have be kept at certain temperature for the medications,” explained Katie DeLuca in her debrief after the meeting. “So now they’ll have a proper garage.”

With the P&Z approval, GEMS can submit for their building permits, and hopefully the new station will be constructed in short order.

The approval was a long time in the making.

Initially, P&Z reviewed and approved a Site Plan and MI for the purchase of the site, and for use of a single family house that was on the property. It has since been demolished.

Later, P&Z reviewed and approved the temporary trailer and that project included placement of the 720 sq ft trailer, and reconfiguration of the driveway into a loop with access off of both King St and the Golf Course parking lot to the south.

The new configuration will the GEMS vehicles to enter and exit the property without backing up, and avoid the loud back up “beeping” in the residential neighborhood.

The Town purchased the property on King Street in 2004 after a four year study.

GEMS was established back in 1986 as a non profit 501(c)(3) to provide Greenwich with pre-hospital emergency medical care. As a private entity, GEMS does not use town employees, does not increase liability exposure for the Town and engages in independent fundraising to supplement contributions from the Town Budget.

Station 1 is at Greenwich Hospital. Station two is GEMS headquarters at 1111 East Putnam Ave and Station 3 is at Lower Cross Road. Station 4 is on King Street, next to the Griff Golf Course.