REMS wins services bid

Town to negotiate ALS fees collection from company

The Rotterdam Town Board chose the not-for-profit Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services over Mohawk Ambulance Service to provide ambulance service for the town for the next two years.

Discussions have stretched on for months about which ambulance service provider should be awarded a contract, but the decision during the board's meeting on Wednesday, May 11, happened swiftly.

REMS will provide the service, and the town will collect advanced life support fees obtained by REMS, but the service would be up for bid again in two years. Supervisor Frank Del Gallo said the decision for the board was mostly based on what would cost the residents the least.

The bids from REMS were lower to pick up people, so it saves the taxpayers money and that is what it is all about, the taxpayers, said Del Gallo. "They were both basically going to give us the same amount of money back."

Also, while REMS' bid said there would be a $10 Advance Life Support billing fee collected by the company for each claim, it changed its position to offer it free. Before Mohawk submit ted a bid, representatives suggested they would charge a percentage based on the amount of ALS fees given to the town. The bid submitted to the town offered this service free of charge, which came as a surprise to REMS officials.

Since Mohawk would still service the town when REMS can't answer a call, Del Gallo said the competition would be good for business in terms of billing prices. Supporters of REMS warned the Town Board about dissolving the volunteer service.

"I didn't think two companies would fight so hard for business in the Town of Rotterdam if there wasn't any business there," said Del Gallo. "I think it is always healthy for business if you have competition," said Del Gallo. "When there is competition, it makes the prices right."

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