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Saratoga Springs City Council hears EMS bid

Three Capital District emergency medical were vying to serve Saratoga Springs Wednesday, Feb. 25, when they presented slideshows of their track records to the City Council and nearly 50 members of the public.

The companies, Empire EMS, Mohawk Ambulance Service and Saratoga Emergency Medical Services, were asked by Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim to present their companies in a workshop at Town Hall so that the public would get an opportunity to learn more about the choices that lie ahead for the Council.

Really, it's a way to sort of air out the proposals, Kim said, before explaining that even before these "tough economic times," he began looking into the issue of whether the city's EMS was bringing in as much revenue as it could be.

Saratoga Emergency Medical Services, or SEMS, has been serving the city for the past 40 years. Its vice president, George Miller, said the company does not have a plan for an increased stream of revenue, and it was the only company that did not present the council with an expected revenue amount.

"I had actually hoped that they would come across with a better revenue [plan] without taxpayers footing the bill," Kim said.

Chief Operating Officer for Empire EMS Michael Aquino's proposal outlined that they would pay the city $100,000 in rent at the new West Avenue location, as well as bring in $185,000 in Advanced Life Support reimbursement, totaling $285,000 in revenue for the city.

Aquino also said the company has an average response time of eight minutes or less, and that the latest in technology is used in Empire's vehicles, including GPS tracking.

"Our highest priority will be to the people of Saratoga Springs and neighboring areas," he said.

Mohawk agreed to pay "fair market value" for rent, and expected to bring in about $140,000 to $180,000 in ALS reimbursement, according to Vice President of Operations Richard Brandt.

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