Small volunteer fire departments in New York that also provide emergency medical services are seeking financial relief from the state legislature.
According to legislation introduced by lawmakers in the Albany area, the number of fire calls has decreased in communities, but the number of EMS calls requiring ambulances has increased. Under state law, fire department EMS costs aren’t allowed to be reimbursed from a patient’s existing health care policies. However, other ambulance services are permitted to do so. The proposed bill would put local fire departments with EMS services on par with other ambulance providers.
The measure has support from three statewide firefighting organizations and the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials.