ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Senator Pam Helming said she will ask Governor Hochul to make EMS services in rural areas a top priority.
In 2021, New York State passed Senate Bill S3503, which created the Rural Ambulance Services Task Force. This was a group of 12 people whose job was to look at the problems that rural ambulance workers face.
The law says that the goal of the Task Force is to give a full picture of the state’s ambulance services and make suggestions for how to improve them for people in rural areas.
In a letter to Governor Hochul, Senator Helming said that the law will end in December 2021, even though the task force has only made three of its 14 appointments and given no normal meeting notices. Also, the letter asks Hochul to get the task force together as soon as possible.
“On December 8, I wrote a formal letter to the governor, the interim president of the New York State Senate, and the Speaker of the House, asking for an update and pleading with them to get the task force together,” Helming said. “I haven’t heard back from anyone.”
Helming met with Chief Matt Sproul of the Canandaigua Emergency Squad to talk about why people in rural areas need these services. He wants the Task Force to start doing things.
Chief Sproul said, “I think EMS is at a critical point right now, especially in rural areas.” “Right now, a lot of people are calling for an ambulance because they need help right away. Since no ambulance is available in a reasonable amount of time, their chances of getting better with each passing minute are getting lower.”