N.Y. EMS partnership aims to reduce response times

The investment into Greenfield Ambulance's partnership with Corinth EMS will remove confusion for dispatchers and better serve residents, officials say


Brian Lee
The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.

GREENFIELD, N.Y. — Residents in Greenfield are benefiting from the town's investment in Greenfield Ambulance, a partnership with Corinth EMS that has resulted in quicker response times by the ambulance company, town officials said Tuesday.

Greenfield Ambulance, headquartered at 14 S. Greenfield Road, is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, shared services partnership with Corinth EMS. The renovated building opened New Year's Day and is staffed at all times with an emergency medical technician and paramedic, with both an ambulance and a first response vehicle.

The new building will be the legacy of retired Town Supervisor Daniel Pemrick, his successor, Town Supervisor Kevin Veitch said at the facility.

Greenfield has 8,200 residents and spans more than 41,000 acres bordering the Adirondacks.

Corinth Director of EMS Matt Fogarty said Greenfield had approximately 600 emergency calls last year. The new centralized service will reduce response times for Greenfield's 68 square miles, which also includes Prestwick Chase retirement community and Maple Avenue Middle School.

Fogarty also serves as director of Greenfield Ambulance, and he has staffed the new service with his 36 current employees.

"This arrangement will be a win for both the Town of Greenfield and the Town of Corinth," Fogarty said. "Both communities will receive enhanced emergency services in the most efficient way possible."

The town spent about $85,000 renovating the building, a garage that once housed the town's Fire Department, Veitch said.

At one time, Greenfield had contracted with three other companies: Community Emergency Corps of Ballston Spa, Corinth and Wilton, according to Paramedic Elmer Santiago.

"That side of the road ( Route 9 North) was Wilton, this side of the road was Community, and up north was Corinth," he said. "That had to be a nightmare for dispatch."

Having an ambulance at Greenfield Ambulance will remove the confusion for dispatchers and better serve residents because Greenfield Ambulance can be anywhere in the district within minutes, Santiago said.

"During those critical calls, such as seizures, cardiac arrests or heart attacks, time is of the essence," the paramedic said.

Veitch said the emergency response time from Greenfield Ambulance to Maple Avenue Middle School is eight minutes, compared to the 15 to 16 minutes it took Corinth EMS to get there from its facility.

Veitch said the service will be funded in this year's budget.

The initial program is scheduled for three years and will be evaluated on an ongoing basis for cost and effectiveness.

Veitch said Greenfield Ambulance will help the town better protect, prevent and mitigate health crises; maintain and disseminate more accurate medical information; and improve emergency medical response times. In addition, the unit will be available to provide community health service support to local events.

The expense of the operation is $425,000 a year, up from $225,000 for Greenfield, Veitch said. The town budgeted $190,000 a year in the past.

"It's an increase, but it certainly is worth every penny when we can get to a location like the school this fast," Veitch said. "It makes a big difference. We figure everybody's worth it."

The town studied how to efficiently improve EMS services the past three years, and a committee was formed in early 2021 led by Greenfield Town Board Member Rick Capasso and Veitch, who is just weeks into his supervisor role.

Pemrick, the retired supervisor said: "A lot of work has gone on in the background. We started collecting our own revenue on an annual basis, as opposed to having somebody else do it for us. So we knew what the money end of it was, and Kevin found a way to work it into the budget that he has for 2022."

"We are very confident that this is something that the town will continue to support for our growing population here, and the fact that Route 9N is a perfect route between Corinth and the town of Greenfield," Pemrick said. "This whole area is growing slowly — more slowly than the city of Saratoga Springs — but there's a definite need for it."

Pemrick said the municipal partnership with Corinth is the key for providing the infrastructure necessary for Greenfield to launch its town service.

"Corinth EMS is the ideal partner to bring better emergency services to our town," he said. "They are a well-established, first-rate operation that will help us bring our residents the kind of fast, quality care we need."

The new facility, across the street from the Greenfield Fire Department, occupies approximately 1,500 square feet of the building, including a garage bay, and a secured storage room for medical supplies.

The renovated building includes a kitchenette, full bathroom with a shower and washer and dryer, a closet, and a computer area where workers can write reports or work on continuing education, Santiago said.

"There's also two different sleeping quarters, yielding "privacy at night, so we don't have to hear the other person snoring," Santiago cracked.

Corinth Town Supervisor Eric Butler said Corinth EMS "has always been an object of pride for our community," and "the new service agreement gives us the ability to provide more focused care for our communities at a lower cost."

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(c)2022 The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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