Yesterday the state legislature passed the Fair Play Ambulance Recovery Act (A534B) as part of the state budget, a bill sponsored by Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) that would allow fire departments to recover costs of providing ambulance services. This law will help fire departments statewide recover $100 million for providing these services and will save the North Country $3 million. New York was the only state in the nation that did not allow fire departments to recover these costs.
“This is a major victory for North Country fire departments that provide ambulance services,” said Assemblyman Billy Jones. “This is a lifeline for struggling local fire departments, many of which are run by volunteers, so that they do not have to make the difficult decision to not provide these important services. We take for granted that our local fire departments will be there when we need them most and my bill will ensure that they will be able to continue to answer the call when our loved ones are in need. After working diligently with local fire departments and emergency services as well as members of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY), New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York to get this bill passed, this is indeed a day to celebrate.”
“This is not only a good thing for fire departments in New York state that provide emergency medical services and haven’t been able to recover the costs but is also good for the public they serve,” said Eric Day, director of the Clinton County Office of Emergency Services. “Local fire departments will not have to decide whether or not they can afford to provide ambulance services and North Country residents will not have to worry if the EMTs will be there in time to save their loved ones. Assemblyman Jones has been a strong supporter of this bill since he was elected, and I want to thank him for his hard work and congratulate him on this victory.”
“This is a big step for fire departments that have been providing ambulance services to their communities,” said Robbie Demarse, deputy director of Franklin County Emergency Services. “Many of these fire departments operated their EMS operations on limited budgets often funded by donations. The cost of an ambulance and equipment needed to provide life safety measures continues to increase, this will at least allow departments to help recover cost and invest in the needed service. Assemblyman Jones- thank you for listening and your support. This is a great victory.”
“This bill will not only assist New York state but will greatly help the North Country fire departments that provide ambulance services recover the costs from providing these life-saving services,” said Scott Ewing, 2nd Vice President, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. “Cost recovery will enhance the efforts by local fire departments to provide quality ambulatory services so that they can be there for North Country residents in their time of need. This is a long time coming and I would like to thank Assemblyman Jones for his hard work to get this bill passed.”
“The Fair Play Ambulance Recovery Act is a game changer for fire departments across the North Country,” said Ryan Blondo, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. “The ability to recover the costs of ambulance services will help fire departments afford new equipment and important updates to their facilities while also still providing emergency medical services. I want to thank Assemblyman Jones for his advocacy and for getting this bill across the finish line.”