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Rotterdam ambulance service up for grabs

Vanderwerker has said REMS would like to set up a taxing district for their service, similar to how fire departments have fire districts. Overseeing it would be a five-member board serving five-year terms and elected by the public.

"If we did put in for a tax district, said Vanderwerker, "our payroll will come strictly out of our insurance billing."

Vanderwerker said Town Supervisor Frank Del Gallo's suggestion that REMS be run like a business is unrealistic because it is providing a vital service to residents.

"I'm not against [Mohawk], these are just the facts; they can't do it and we can," said Vanderwerker.

McPartlon said he believes Mohawk is actually a better fit for the town.

"Our proposal to the town has been the same since day one, and we are unwavering in our belief that we can provide better service to the town at a more reasonable economic level than they are currently getting," said McPartlon.

Vanderwerker said he worries about Mohawk being the sole ambulance provider for the town.

"If they have a monopoly on Rotterdam and if all of a sudden they don't meet their commitment, there is going to be a lot of irate residents," said Vanderwerker. "Mohawk also is a for-profit organization and Rotterdam EMS is a nonprofit organization. If they start to lose money and they raise their rates, you are going to be stuck with them."

Richard Brandt, vice president of operations at Mohawk, said they have a proven service record with other communities.

"If we didn't perform well in other markets and other places, we wouldn't be here to talk to you today," said Brandt.

Also, Brandt said if Mohawk were chosen, REMS employees would be given a hiring preference.

"We would give them preference in hiring as long as they are qualified and meet our admission standards," said Brandt.

Check back to our website later for an update after the meeting ""

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