Firefighters seek to recoup EMS costs in Ontario

Volunteer firefighters from across the region are meeting with lawmakers to discuss life-saving services.

On Saturday, volunteer firefighters from Ontario, Monroe, and Onondaga counties, along with members of the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York, will meet with elected officials to look over the legislative agenda for 2019.

“2019 promises to be a busy year for the fire service, with a diverse legislative agenda. The primary focus for New York’s volunteers is legislation that would allow fire departments to recover some of the costs associated with providing emergency medical services (EMS),” stated FASNY.

It goes on to explain, EMS calls are rapidly increasing as a percentage of the calls are answered by volunteer fire departments.

Under the current law, fire departments are not allowed to charge for those services. The group is hoping to change the law so they can recover some of the costs necessary for operation.

According to FASNY, “This is in stark contrast to standalone Volunteer Ambulance Corps (VACS) and commercial ambulance services, which are permitted to recover these costs. This legislation would provide much-needed parity among the state’s EMS agencies while giving many struggling, rural fire departments a much-needed financial boost.”

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