The Broome County Office of Emergency Services announced Thursday efforts to address ongoing challenges facing local EMS agencies. The County has convened an EMS Core Workgroup as well as begun an independent study to analyze issues and provide recommendations for the future.
“EMS providers literally save lives; when a resident dials 911, they deserve peace of mind knowing that an ambulance will be there to assist in their emergency,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “We understand the challenges these agencies are facing and we are working to ensure that they have the resources they need to continue delivering this essential service.”
Over the past several years, the demand for EMS response in the County has surpassed the supply of on-duty ambulances. As a result, there have been instances of delays in response to calls and an excessive use of mutual aid which can potentially deprive other areas of their own coverage. A decline in volunteers, difficulty recruiting new staff, and revenue limitations have all contributed to the current state of EMS services.
Broome County is also working with its State representatives to bring attention to these challenges in Albany. Last month, Assemblymembers Donna Lupardo and Joe Angelino convened a local meeting to learn more about EMS service in the County and ways they can advocate for resources and solutions at the State level.
The County study is being conducted by Tetra Tech, a contracted vendor with Broome County and is expected to be completed prior to the end of the year.