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EMS changes said to save big bucks

Albany County will not go through Bethlehem for insurance repayment

Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson announces the new contract agreements that will save taxpayers and the town money in providing Advanced Life Support services to residents, while county paramedics and town EMS providers look on.

Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson announces the new contract agreements that will save taxpayers and the town money in providing Advanced Life Support services to residents, while county paramedics and town EMS providers look on. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Town Board Councilman Kyle Kotary said the savings are huge, especially when the town is facing a potential $1.7 million budget gap in the coming year.

“I think this is great on three levels,” he said. “One, it demonstrates once again the localities, like Bethlehem, working with the county to try to find solutions to our issues. Two, it’s great for the health care service within our community and three, there’s the big savings for the taxpayers.”

The town should be seeing the first of its savings from the contract negotiations starting in three months, but it could be six months before there is enough data to predict how much the town could save annually.

“This Advanced Life Support contract will be a great benefit to the residents of the Town of Bethlehem,” said Tim Leach of Bethlehem Volunteer Ambulance. “We are happy to support this contract and a continued relationship with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and its employees, who provide top-notch service to our community every day.”

David Scoons, president of Delmar Emergency Medical Services, called the agreement “innovative.”

“The elected officials in our town and county are great friends with the EMS community and true partners in helping us deliver the best possible care in the most effective manner,” he said.

Lenhardt said the Board of Ambulance Commissioners would focus on making sure the stipulations in the contracts are being implemented in a reasonable and uniform fashion.

“Our next goal is to ensure that the highest level of EMS service is provided to every resident in the community,” he said.

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