FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)  –  Citing ongoing fiscal pressures the UConn Health Center in Farmington has decided to close its standalone fire department and its paramedic services on its Farmington campus.

A Hospital spokesperson says the decision was made to move to a more standard model where fire services are provided by surrounding municipalities.

UConn Health CEO Dr. Andrew Agwunobi says “Given the long and proud tradition associated with the UConn Health fire department, this was not an easy decision.  However UConn Health has to make such hard choices to protect its core mission of research, teaching and patient care while dealing with the reality of financial pressures.”

Farmington’s Town Manager Kathleen Eagen says “The town of Farmington understands the fiscal challenges facing UConn Health and the State of Connecticut.  The town of Farmington Fire Department is committed to providing the same high level of service to UConn Health that it does throughout the rest of the town.”

According to Lori Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO the fire department at the Southbury Training School is also being closed.   Reacting the closing of both departments she says “This is unacceptable and shortsighted.  These workers provide a vital service to UConn and the Southbury Training School and to simply eliminate their jobs will put both facilities at risk.  Simply put, budgets should not be balanced on the backs of firefighters and other public service workers.”