FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Armand Sylvestre, Director Griswold Ambulance Service,
against Docket #FIC 92-282
Board of Directors, Griswold Ambulance Service,
Respondent May 26, 1993
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 16, 1993, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. By letter dated August 7, 1992, the complainant requested from the respondent board copies of all board minutes for the period January 1991 through August 1992, inclusive.
2. By letter dated August 9, 1992, the respondent denied the complainant's request claiming that the American Legion Community Ambulance, Inc., d/b/a/ Griswold Ambulance Service, (hereinafter "Ambulance Service"), is not subject to the disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.
3. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on September 2, 1992, the complainant appealed to the Commission.
4. The test for determining whether an entity such as the respondent board is a public agency for purposes of 1-18a(a), G.S., is set forth in Board of Trustees of Woodstock Academy v. FOI Commission, 181 Conn. 544 (1980) and the criteria are (1) the level of governmental funding; (2) the extent of government involvement or regulation; (3) whether the entity performs a governmental function; and (4) whether the entity was created by the government. Furthermore, pursuant to, Connecticut Humane Society v. FOI Commission, 218 Conn. 757, 761 (1991), all four of the foregoing factors are not necessary for a finding of functional equivalence. Rather all four factors are to be considered cumulatively, with no single factor being essential or conclusive.
Docket #FIC 92-282 Page 2
5. It is found that the Ambulance Service received annual funding from the Town of Griswold for each of the last two years totalling approximately 95% of the Ambulance Service's budget, or between $50,000 and $60,000.
6. It is also found that the facility which houses the Ambulance Service is built on land owned by the Town of Griswold, and that the Town leased such land to the Ambulance Service for a period of ninety-nine years at a cost of $1.00.
7. It is therefore concluded that the Ambulance Service receives substantial government funding.
8. It is found that the Ambulance Service is subject to state statutes that govern emergency medical services pursuant to 19-175, G.S., et seq.
9. It is found that the Ambulance Service is subject to the regulations of the state's Office of Emergency Medical Services, pursuant to 19-178 and 19-179, G.S.
10. It is therefore concluded that the Ambulance Service is subject to substantial government involvement or regulation.
11. Section 19a-183, G.S., requires the establishment of regional emergency medical services councils, comprised of towns designated by the Commissioner of Health Services.
12. Section 19a-184, G.S., requires each emergency medical services council to forward to the Commissioner of Health Services an emergency medical services plan for its region.
13. Section 19a-182(b), G.S., requires each emergency medical services council to develop and annually revise a plan for the delivery of emergency medical services in its area.
14. Section 19a-177(k), G.S., provides that if no emergency medical services council exists within a region, the Commissioner of Health Services shall develop in conjunction with the regional coordinator the emergency medical services plan for such region.
15. It is found that the provision of emergency ambulance transportation services are among the required components of an emergency medical services plan pursuant to 19a-175, et seq. G.S.
16. It is therefore concluded that emergency medical services, including the respondent's ambulance service, are a governmental function.
Docket #FIC 92-282 Page 3
17. It is found that the Ambulance Service was incorporated as a non-stock corporation under state law by a group of individuals, and that the Ambulance Service's members elect its board of directors and officers.
18. Consequently, it is found that the Ambulance Service was not specifically created by government.
19. Nonetheless, it is concluded, based on the totality of relevant factors, that the Ambulance Service and the respondent board of directors constitute public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S., and are therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.
20. It is further concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of the records described in paragraph 1, above.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the records described in paragraph 1 of the findings, above.
2. Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 26, 1993.
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 92-282 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Armand Sylvestre, Director Griswold Ambulance Service
c/o Atty. Glen G. Baron
95 Beach Pond Road
P.O. Box 39
Voluntown, CT 06384
Board of Directors, Griswold Ambulance Service
c/o Sinai Bordeleau
Griswold Ambulance Service
P.O. Box 282
Jewett City, CT 06351
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission