STAMFORD, CT – On August 10th, a crowd gathered at Stamford EMS headquarters on Long Ridge Road to attend an ambulance dedication ceremony that honored the longtime service of Michael Wiederlight and his wife Ronnie to increasing the quality of Stamford’s emergency medical services. A celebratory ribbon cutting was held to launch a new ambulance that bears their names.
Michael Wiederlight is one of the fathers of EMS in Stamford. In 1979, soon after being elected to Stamford’s Board of Representatives, he learned about the state of the city’s emergency medical services. At the time, there was no 911 system, and residents needed to know the phone number for the ambulance, which was either at the Stamford Ambulance Corps or one of the fire departments.
Wiederlight threw himself into the cause and began advocating for a modern EMS service. He became an EMT, volunteering nights after working at his firm, The Insurance Exchange. When finally, a new, consolidated system was created, and Stamford EMS was formed in 1992, he proudly worked the first shift and took on the role of an active Board Member of the new nonprofit organization. Ronnie Wiederlight worked tirelessly chairing the organization’s events.
“These two individuals were instrumental in bringing about positive and needed change to the City,” said Stamford Director of Public Safety Ted Jankowski. “Today we acknowledge and honor Ronnie and Michael for their foresight and dedication to ensuring improved medical care for the City.”
The new ambulance, a Horton Type I, is a welcome addition as the number of emergency calls has steadily risen over the nonprofit organization’s 29-year history. Today, Stamford EMS responds to over 15,000 calls annually and maintains the distinction of Connecticut’s only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accredited EMS provider.
“This organization that has saved lives for years, and even more so now, is built on a foundation that you raised,” said Stamford Mayor David Martin. “The Wiederlights are part of the people that are responsible for saving lives in the City of Stamford.”
“I’m so grateful to have been part of this organization since its inception, first as a volunteer EMT, then as a part of the founding committee, and on the board of directors since day one,” said Michael Wiederlight. “Stamford EMS has accomplished so much over the past 30 years or so, and they have made a difference in so many people’s lives.”
At the end of the ceremony, the Wiederlights presented scholarship funding to EMTs Justin Manley (of Newtown) and Daniel Wellen (of Norwalk) to support their paramedic studies. To date, nine Stamford EMS EMTs have benefitted from the scholarship foundation created by the Weiderlights.
To learn more about Stamford EMS, or to make a donation, please visit www.StamfordEMS.org or call (203) 968-1118.