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REMS attacks Mohawk in bid proposal

Ambulance providers await town's decision

The bid process that will decide Rotterdam's future ambulance service provider is likely to get heated, with Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services aggressively trying to maintain its position with the town while Mohawk attempts to make inroads.

In its bid proposal, REMS cited a May 2009 incident in which it alleged Mohawk Ambulance Service's delayed response led to the death of an 11-year-old boy involved in a bike accident.

Mohawk's bid proposal doesn't mention REMS at all.

If [REMS] wants to take a political approach to things, it is not appropriate, said Tom Nardacci, spokesman for Mohawk. "REMS has been on this mission to denigrate Mohawk, but the fact of the matter is, Mohawk is the premier primary ambulance company in the area."

The Town of Rotterdam and REMS are currently involved in a medical malpractice suit dealing with the death of Alessandro DiMeo under the provider's care in 2009.

In the lawsuit, Maria DiMeo alleges REMS transported her husband to St. Peter's Hospital in Albany versus the nearby Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, and when her husband's conditioned worsened, the two REMS employees riding in the ambulance were basic emergency technicians who lacked the training to properly care for him. His condition allegedly became progressively worse as he traveled to the hospital under REMS' care, and, the lawsuits alleges, ultimately led to his death.

Also included in REMS' bid are news articles of the bike accident and stenograph minutes from a Nov. 17 public hearing in Brunswick about expanding Mohawk's operating territory.

During the bidding process, REMS has tried to distinguish itself as a not-for-profit organization opposed to the for-profit competitor. A representative from REMS could not be reached for comment about the content of the bid.

In REMS' bid, the following statement made at the Brunswick hearing by Mohawk representative Daniel Gilmore was highlighted in the stenograph minutes: "As a commercial agency, we to have a service that is valuable. A service that is valuable depends on call volume that we have and can grow out into the county. If that call volume was to be jeopardized, then we would have to re-look at our position."

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