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Rotterdam stays with EMS service

"We bill for the service, but so does Rotterdam EMS. It's the exact same situation [as Rotterdam EMS], but we would never ask the town for a subsidy, and we certainly wouldn't be looking at a taxing district," said Bombardier.

He said that another important piece of the deal was that Rotterdam would keep their paramedic services and they would reimburse the town for the use of their paramedics since they would be the ones serving the Town of Rotterdam.

He also noted that, based on the call numbers the Town of Rotterdam has, Mohawk Ambulance would be giving back to the town close to $100,000 a year.

"They spent $455,000 on their paramedic service last year so we would be subsidizing nearly a fourth of that," said Bombardier.

In response, Tommasone said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch. I want to see how it is on a call -- how they're going to save someone money. They have to make profit. They're going to go out and they're going to charge for a call."

He said that Rotterdam EMS has 2,500 calls a year, and he believes "leaving it up to happenstance is not good."

"We need to have austerity. I believe our paramedics and our volunteer fire districts and those individuals who are involved everyday in those two parts of our emergency services in the town all tell me the same thing," said Tommasone. "I have not heard from any one of them that they believe it would be better to go private, and whose words should I take? The words of politicians and people who frankly want to make money, or those people who are delivering services and have for decades in our community? I'm going to go with the people who have served in our communities for decades."

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