N.Y. towns combine ambulance services amid staffing shortages

The towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme will consolidate EMS services in an effort to reduce response times and fully staff rigs


By Rachel Engel

CAPE VINCENT, N.Y. — Due to staffing shortages, the towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme will consolidate ambulance services.

The town of Lyme was operating with only one ambulance, WWNYTV reported.

“Right now, our volunteers are on scene 25 to 30 minutes before we get an ambulance from Watertown,” EMS Capt. Heather Lipczynski of Chaumont Fire Department said. “Sometimes it’s longer.”
“Right now, our volunteers are on scene 25 to 30 minutes before we get an ambulance from Watertown,” EMS Capt. Heather Lipczynski of Chaumont Fire Department said. “Sometimes it’s longer.” (Greg Friese)

“Right now, our volunteers are on scene 25 to 30 minutes before we get an ambulance from Watertown,” EMS Capt. Heather Lipczynski of Chaumont Fire Department said. “Sometimes it’s longer.”

After Three Mile Bay Fire Department reduced ambulance services from BLS to first responder in January, which allowed providers to render aid, but required transport from a different ambulance service, the department recently announced it will donate its only ambulance to Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad.

“I think overall, being able to draw donations from two townships is going to help them have more money to work with and offer more services,” said Jeffrey Call, chief of operations at Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad.

The consolidation will take two months to complete.

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