Help BVAC return as primary responder to the towns of Clarkson and Sweden. If you haven't signed a petition, stop by the Brockport Village Hall, 49 State St or Nichols Service, 354 State St today. Petition will be turned in on 8/15!
More information will be posted here as it becomes available.
this article if from the Suburban News on line edition http://www.westsidenewsny.com/Local-News.html
Sweden and Clarkson town boards consider returning to Brockport Ambulance service
by Kristina Gabalski
Members of the Brockport Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC) have been meeting regularly with members of the Sweden and Clarkson town boards since the beginning of the year and they say they are hopeful the time is right for both towns to switch back to Brockport Ambulance as their primary responder.
At the end of 2010, the towns switched from BVAC to Monroe Ambulance as their primary responder following a dispute with the Village of Brockport over third-party billing services. In the spring of 2011, the BVAC began the process of spinning-off operations from the village, a process which was completed in 2012, making Brockport Ambulance an independent, not-for-profit organization.
Ambulance/town meetings have gone very well over the past six weeks, in particular, BVAC President David Rice says. “Internally and externally we are in a better position than last year to re-acquire the contract with the two towns. “We have come to the understanding that what we did previously, we are in a strong position to do again,” Rice says. “The decision is ultimately theirs. Progress has been very good.”
The towns must decide by mid-August if they will do nothing and allow their contract with Monroe to automatically renew, or if they will notify Monroe that they have decided not to renew. They would then have to declare a new primary and secondary responder by December 31, Rice says. Sweden town officials said the town boards may meet jointly in the near future to discuss the issue.
Brockport Ambulance members recently started circulating petitions to gather signatures of support in an effort to show the towns’ residents are behind a switch back to BVAC as primary responder. “Residents have hectic lives,” Rice observes, “just because you may not see or hear them at a town board meeting doesn’t mean they don’t care who shows up on their doorstep when they call for an ambulance.”
Rice says the Ambulance Corps has worked to demonstrate to the towns their improved call response coverage (out of 100 calls for service, they cover 90), and their response time of 2.7 minutes from the time a call comes in until a vehicle is on the road.
BVAC Public Relations Committee member Robin Waller says Brockport Ambulance additionally has an excellent mutual aid system, allowing calls for mutual aid to be made immediately when a call comes in, meaning residents don’t have to wait if Brockport Ambulance is not immediately available.
“Our number one goal is patient care,” she says. “Neighbors taking care of neighbors. We care about our neighbors. We’re a volunteer service, we’re not in it for the money. We’ve done an excellent job for 51 years. When the towns left, it had nothing to do with service, it was circumstances out of our control.”
“Quality of service is on par, if not better, from a volunteer, local, community based ambulance,” Brian Winant, also a member of the BVAC Public Relations Committee says, and BVAC Chief Lucas VanDervort adds that all EMS personnel in Monroe County undergo the same training and have the same standards and similar equipment.
The Brockport Ambulance continues to respond to all calls in the village and David Rice reminds town residents in Sweden and Clarkson that they can request Brockport Ambulance when they call 911.
He points out that the BVAC can provide the towns with service that Monroe Ambulance cannot. While Monroe must focus on many municipalities, Brockport Ambulance can focus exclusively on the Brockport/Clarkson/Sweden community. BVAC members also live in the community and can be on the scene immediately if a neighbor needs help.
“Then there’s the connection with the Brockport Fire Department. For 50 years we were part of the department and many members have dual membership,” Rice says. Robin Waller notes BVAC members know their way around their community and Rice adds, “that familiarity can improve outcome,” when a call comes in.
Other services Brockport Ambulance provides to the community include stand-by service at no charge at events like the Brockport Arts Festival and Soccer Fest. In all, stand-by service was provided at 37 events last year and 16 events so far this year. Rice explains that if stand-by service for the Brockport Arts Festival had to be contracted out to an agency, it could cost $75-$150/hour, money which would come off the bottom line of an event which raises money for BISCO. BISCO then uses proceeds from the festival to support a long list of community projects. “It’s not-for-profits helping other not-for-profits,” Rice notes. “It’s a win-win.”
Brockport Ambulance additionally will cover calls for assistance - such as helping an elderly person who has fallen, but does not need transport - at no charge and practices “soft billing” for those who may have difficulty paying for ambulance service - services Monroe Ambulance does not provide, BVAC members say. Rice says as a not-for-profit, BVAC is also not beholden to stockholders. He says the goal is to generate sufficient revenues to pay expenses and to fund reserves for future purchases of equipment.
Ambulance members also met recently with the chair of Emergency Room Medicine at URMC regarding the purchase of the former Lakeside Hospital. They say the meeting was very positive. “We had a 50-year history of providing the best emergency room and ambulance care,” Rice notes of Lakeside and BVAC. “It would be great to get it back under the same umbrella again in 2014.”
BVAC members encourage those who would like to support the return of Brockport Ambulance as primary responder to the towns to sign the petition which is available at the Brockport Village Hall and at Nichols Service. They say letters and emails of support can also be sent directly to members of the Clarkson and Sweden town boards. You can contact the towns via email through the town websites.
Volunteers will be going door to door in the next 2 weeks to collect signatures for the towns of Clarkson and Sweden. [Residents of the Village should sign the Sweden petition.]
Below are the petitions forms.
"If you want to have a good quality service
and you want to keep the Brockport Volunteer Ambulance
up and rolling the way it used to be, talk to your town boards."
Trustee Kent Blair, November 13, 2012
Village Services >