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Voorheesville looking at EMS options

Tough contract negotiations spur a review, bring allegations to light

— Voorheesville officials are investigating what, if any, emergency medical service options it might have, as contract contentions are becoming the norm with its historic provider.

Mayor Robert Conway said the village has had preliminary discussions with the Voorheesville Volunteer Fire Department about the organization providing ambulance service for the village. The possibility was brought up at the Board of Trustees’ Aug. 27 meeting. The matter will likely be discussed at each of the board’s meetings for several months, according to Conway.

“We are not moving towards the firehouse, we are just exploring the possibility of having the firehouse take on the ambulance service,” Conway said. “Given the nature of our last conversations with the volunteers, we thought it was prudent to investigate what else is available or what else is out there.”

Voorheesville Area Ambulance Service currently covers the village. The village signed a contract for the current year’s service recently after a contentious negotiations process lasting several months.

Conway said he believes there is “some interest” among fire department volunteers to provide EMS service, but he was not sure if the interest would be enough for the village to pursue that option.

“Nothing is set in stone and nothing has been agreed to,” Conway said. “The current ambulance service is insistent on being treated like any other vendor and this is what happens.”

He said the village has also had “some very preliminary” investigations into possibly bringing in another service, along with “very preliminary” conversations with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department taking it over full time. The sheriff’s department covers the village from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. already.

“It may be this (VAAS) is the only game in town and figure out a way to work with it,” Conway said. “The ideal solution is to do nothing and to have it continue with the volunteer squad who has done it all these years.”

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