Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R,I-Guilford) today announced that funding for Susquehanna Regional Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (SREMS) will be available before November 30, 2009. Crouch received reports and correspondence from the Regional Council that the SREMS’s Program Agency would have had to cease operations as of November 30, due to depletion of funds.
“We have been able to avoid a fiscal catastrophe where it is necessary to have this council still functioning,” said Crouch. “After being in contact with the Division of Budget, I am told that the contracts have finally been approved and the appropriations the council needs will be flowing before they have to cease operations.”
The Regional Council was notified that their contract was currently pending Office of State Comptroller approval contingent upon New York State Division of Budget allocating funds to support it.
“While this is good news for SREMS, it puts into question the seriousness and urgency of funding for our health care and emergency services systems,” said Crouch. “Without their funding, the state is putting thousands of lives at risk just in this region alone. It is fortunate we were able to avoid this catastrophe this time around and it is extremely important that cuts to health care services are avoided at all cost.”
Crouch went on to say that if the state’s fiscal crisis forced SREMS Program Agency to close, the potential existed for a genuine public health crisis in the three-county region as a result of the loss of the ability to credential Advanced Life Support providers, and the loss of the administrative, technical and Quality Improvement support.
Although the Council relies heavily on volunteer emergency first responders in the region, many would hesitate to respond to medical emergencies without this support.