There could be a change in ambulance service in the Town of Willet beginning in 2017.
Willet Supervisor Alvin Doty, Junior says like many other volunteer fire and rescue squads, it’s difficult for current provider Cincinnatus Volunteer Ambulance to keep enough staff trained to provide service.
“Back in the old days, there were a lot of businesses in town, there were a lot of farms around and there was a lot of available manpower around, but times have changed and that just isn’t available any more,” said Doty. “Unfortunately.”
The supervisor points to the hours of required state training as a big factor.
“Yes it is, and it’s getting worse all the time,” said Doty. “The training requirements that come down from the state are just horrendous, and a volunteer just can dedicate that much time.”
Doty insists it’s no one’s fault, but the training requirements aren’t helping with volunteer recruitment.
Doty explained the costs with a different ambulance service provider should be comparable. However, residents will pay to be transported.
“Cincinnatus currently provides a free ride. With a paid service, you have to pay for the ride, pay for the service that is utilized.”
When a volunteer company such as Cincinnatus can’t assemble a crew, a backup service is called, and there is a charge, says Doty. “Currently, our residents have to pay when another ambulance service comes in to transport them.”
Doty says the town is in the process of obtaining its own Certificate of Need from the New York State Department of Health, so it can contract with a service such as MAVAC out of Marathon.
Cincinnatus has held the Certificate of Need for the Town of Willet since the ambulance service was formed in the 1950s.
Doty hopes to make the switch New Year’s Day.