Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) is co-sponsoring legislation (S.5331A) that would allow any county, city, town or village to establish a special district for the financing and operation of general ambulance services. The bill would make it possible for municipalities to pool resources and share services to more efficiently provide emergency medical services, especially in rural areas.
“Many communities have struggled to recruit volunteers, making it more difficult to maintain EMS and ambulance services,” Senator Gallivan said. “These challenges are often exacerbated in rural communities. Allowing municipalities to create multi-town EMS districts will help them cover a wider area and respond more quickly to emergency situations.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, the average response time throughout the state is just over 13 minutes, but in rural communities response time is often much longer. The bill seeks to address the issue by allowing communities to establish districts with economies of scale and participants.
The legislation would also require the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to investigate and make recommendations on how to improve recruitment and reduce response times.
The bill has been sent to the Committee on Local Government.