Plan for Rotterdam EMS laid out

At the Wednesday, Aug. 12, Town Board meeting, the Town of Rotterdam laid out its final plans for establishing a special taxing district to continue working with medical services provider Rotterdam EMS.

Public review will take place Wednesday, Sept. 9, at which point town officials will vote on the proposal.

The plan would make REMS the primary EMS-ambulance provider for the town. The town is currently contracting with REMS for ambulance services and would establish a special assessment to provide funding for the service. The assessment will be based on property values throughout the town.

We will ensure, contrary to many national leaders' comments on the subject of paramedics and EMS, that Rotterdam is paying attention to our people's needs and will not allow our own system to deteriorate and try to reverse the damage later, said Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steve Tommasone in an e-mail.

Tommasone added that he wanted to make sure the town and REMS leadership has the resources to provide service "for decades to come."

At the beginning of this year, there was some debate in town about whether to contract with the privately owned Mohawk Ambulance for emergency services or continue to contract with the government-funded Rotterdam EMS. Staying with REMS involved the creation of a new taxing district, similar to ones used for the fire department and other public safety departments, while receiving services from Mohawk Ambulance Service would have no impact on taxpayers.

If the plan is rejected next month, going with Mohawk Ambulance is still a possibility.

"What I can say is that what was proposed last fall is still something that is a viable option for the town to consider," said Tom Nardacci, a spokesman for Mohawk Ambulance. "Mohawk is definitely interested in servicing Rotterdam because Mohawk's base of operation is right there."

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