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Lack of volunteers forces NY EMS agency to shut down

By having a volunteer on staff once a week for one 12-hour shift, the town would save $12,000 annually

By EMS1 Staff

NEW SCOTLAND, N.Y. — A 64-year-old non-profit EMS agency shut down Oct. 15, citing a lack of volunteers.

The Voorheesville Area Ambulance Service’s coverage will be absorbed by a neighboring county. VAAS officials said they are exploring partnership options to create a hybrid service of paid and volunteer staff.

“We need to find an alternative that doesn’t take away from their primary mission, which is to provide quality EMS services to their own communities,” VAAS Lt. Tom Smith told Spotlight News.

Smith said the ideal situation would be to have one person volunteer for one shift a week, 12 hours a week for a full year — a move that could save the community from paying $12,000 annually.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to restructure,” Smith said. “There are people out there who want to volunteer. There just aren’t enough of them.”

If the agency is unable to find a solution, the service will be completely dissolved.

The City of Palmview will pay the county $10 a month for the use of the ambulance, which will be added to three already in the city’s inventory
Since the early October opening of Lockport Memorial Hospital, weekly overtime costs for patient transport have dropped from an average of $6,500 to $3,000 or less
Somerset city officials are told employees are leaving for better pay and less calls
Otego officials had been debating turning town EMS over to Otsego County Emergency Services