Town board inks contract with Highland Ambulance

By LAURIE STUART
Posted 12/28/21

ELDRED, NY — Even though the ambulance has not completed the divestiture from the American Legion post, the Town of Highland and the president of the new Highland Ambulance signed a contract …

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Town board inks contract with Highland Ambulance

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ELDRED, NY — Even though the ambulance has not completed the divestiture from the American Legion post, the Town of Highland and the president of the new Highland Ambulance signed a contract for ambulance service to begin January 1, 2022.

According to ambulance corps president Chris Tambini, Highland Ambulance expects to sign the divestiture with the post momentarily. “We believe it is ready,” he said to the town board on December 21 during an emergency meeting, the sole purpose of which was to sign the ambulance contract.

He also reported that the certifications to run the ambulance corps are not expected to be in hand for a couple of months. In the meantime, the new corps will provide service using mutual aid or will tone out the EMTs with the Yulan Fire Department, who would be able to respond.

“We do not believe that the town will need to enter into a contract with MobileMedic,” ambulance member Tony LaRuffa said.

Corps member Darryl Barnes asked whether there would be any changes to the contract if the corps took steps to hire paid EMTs. LaRuffa said that the budget would be increased and that it would be a decision that the ambulance corps would make. Supervisor Jeff Haas said that each party would have to agree to the increased costs, and that there was a 30-days notice to get out of the agreement.

“We would come up with a budget,” Tambini said.

“And we would have to approve it,” countered Haas.

Attorney Brad Pinksy, of Pinsky Law Group PLLP, whose firm specializes in negotiations with ambulance and fire districts, said that it would be a discussion of the contract, and that the town would have the option to not go along with any proposed increases.

The contract indicates that the corps would provide the town’s ambulance district with basic life support transport and treatment and arranging for advanced life support treatment.

Of the $183,000 annual budget, the town contracted to provide $33,000 through a tax levy on the ambulance district, payable no later than March 1 of the contract year. The balance of the monies are to be raised by the ambulance corps by billing for its services. If the yearly amount raised is greater than $183,000, the excess billing revenue would be remitted to the town. Additionally, the contract stipulates that the town “will be relieved from the obligation to pay more than the amount of $33,000 raised from the tax roll and is relieved from any shortfall from billing revenue.” The contract is for two years initially, and will be yearly after that.

The motion to accept the contract was made by councilmember Fred Bosch, seconded by Kaitlyn Haas. Tambini signed for the ambulance corps, and Jeff Haas signed the contract on behalf of the town.

Want to catch up on coverage of the Highland ambulance district? See the stories below:

Busy Highland meeting

A new—and old—volunteer ambulance corps for Highland

Ambulance district formed—fingers crossed on equipment negotiations

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