R'dam to open bids on emergency services

Proposed REMS audit remains unscheduled

The long wait is over emergency medical service providers can now submit bids to provide service for Rotterdam.

For several weeks a resolution has appeared on the Rotterdam Town Board's agenda to authorize Supervisor Frank Del Gallo to go out for bids for Basic Life Support services and reimbursement of Advance Life Support Services for the town. During its Wednesday, March 23, meeting, the board approved the resolution, which means the town is moving closer to an agreement after the tax district vote that would have provided funding for Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services failed in December by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

There was no discussion by board members before unanimously voting on the resolution to authorize the bids.

An outspoken critic of REMS and Rotterdam resident Kelly Rhinesmith questioned what is happening with the proposed audit on REMS.

All along the way, we have had at least three or more proposals by the supervisor to audit REMS over the ALS that has been missing from the town coffers," said Rhinesmith. "That contract would designate the EMS provider and that service would always be the first dispatched to all emergencies."

This would mean whoever is designated handles the majority of billing, said Rhinesmith, which concerned her since there are proposed audits still pending.

"We could be risking a company that we know now has gone though untold amount of money," she said of REMS. "We are not just talking about small change, we are talking about potentially what is hundreds of thousands of dollars. In my opinion, I think it would be irresponsible until we can at least determine what happened to this money."

REMS attorney Frank Salamone previously stated the company had kept revenue received from ALS billing after an oral agreement was reached with the previous board, and the money was used for "operational costs," but Del Gallo has said he wants to see a written agreement or an approved resolution.

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