Auburn is hoping to clear up any confusion that may be lingering in the city after AMR Ambulance announced it would leave Cayuga County.
City Clerk Chuck Mason spoke on FLX Morning where he explained the situation.
“There was some confusion with a newscast that came out of one of the stations in Syracuse, New York, where they interviewed a volunteer with a fire department from a surrounding town, and the news reporter kept saying it was going to affect Auburn,” Mason said. “It’s not going to affect Auburn. Auburn is in very good shape.”
Mason added that AMR had contracted with the county government to back up volunteer departments across the 864 sq mi county. The City of Auburn operates its own ambulance service which was created in 2021.
“Not only are they sticking around but the City of Auburn Ambulance is two years old now and is doing a great job,” Mason continued.
IAFF Local 5379, the union representing Auburn City Ambulance workers, has also responded to AMR’s decision and any resulting confusion resulting from it. In a statement, the union wrote that it will “continue to provide emergency medical services to the City of Auburn and is prepared to assist in other parts of Cayuga County when requested.”
Because it is so close to Election Day, Mason said it’s possible that misinformation is being spread throughout the community on purpose. At its October 26 City Council Meeting, City Councilor and Democratic mayoral candidate Jimmy Giannettino addressed accusations that Auburn itself was to blame for AMR’s departure.
“There’s a false narrative going around this community regarding the ambulance service and AMR leaving the county, blaming the City of Auburn for taking on our ambulance service and that that’s causing AMR to leave the county,” Giannettino said. “It was my understanding that Mr Dygert, in his conversations with the director of AMR at those county-level meetings, that he assured us that this was not the case, that it was a business decision on their part.”
AMR Ambulance announced in October that it would pull out of the county by the end of the year citing the rising costs of equipment, a shrinking pool of qualified workers, and sluggish reimbursement rates.