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February 19, 2009 - 10:03am

Poll: City ambulance protest...

posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, city council, fire department, union, firefighter, ambulance, polls.
Gabor Deutsch
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The weather sure didnt work out so well for them. The wind really makes for miserable conditions to protest. I bet the mall saw an influx of people today but sadly only because they wanted to warm up a bit.
Frank D'Angelo
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While the weather was not the best, we are used to working in those conditions, and the cause is indeed worth it. As a lifelong citizen of this community, quality Emergency services is important to my family. I encourage anyone who cares about this quality of life issue to check out the website www.bataviaambulance.com
Dave Meyer
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I fully understand the union protesting the potential loss of good paying jobs. That's what unions do. The fact that these jobs even exist, however, is the result of an ill conceived decision by a previous Batavia City Council. No one in his right mind would say that having a municipal ambulance service is a bad thing. What IS a bad thing is when the cost of that service is borne by a minority of the population that it serves. And it's not just the operating cost for right now. It's benefits and pensions for YEARS TO COME. Everyone knows the bottom line. This service is bleeding cash. It was a well intentioned but poorly thought out decision. Say what you will about the current council...at least they had the cajones to make the decision to force a decision. Some entity (the county, UMMC, a private private ambulance service) will come in to fill this void. For anyone to say otherwise is foolish. Everyone agrees it's a necessary service...just not a service provided at the expense of the city.
Lori Ann Santini
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www.BataviaAmbulance.com No not everybody knows the bottom line. The cost is not borne by the minority. Nearly two thirds of the call volume is attributed directly to the City residents and the hospital. Less than a third is directly attributed to the county. That is fact. Until there is a confirmed service in place don't say that is foolish that a service provider won't come in. In this economy anything is possible.
John Roach
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Lori, All the Towns and Villages had to do was pay 100% of the cost to provice service to them. They will not, they didn't even want to pay the small fee they were charged. They all saw this coming for at least a year, and they did nothing. The city will be ok. If nobody bids for the whole county, the city could always rehire a small number of its EMT's back. What will the towns do then without the city?
Chris Charvella
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John, if I remember correctly, a while back info came out that said all the municipalities except for LeRoy had indeed paid their EMS bills to the City.
John Roach
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Chris, Yes they did. BUT, this was really a token fee. It was just enough to buy a new ambulance. It was not near what it cost to run the ambulance, pay the EMT's, pay for their retirement and medical, etc. It did not even pay for the gas. And, they didn't even want to be charged the token fee.
Dave Meyer
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Just because a cause has a website, doesn't make the cause right. Let's put it this way...IF (and that's a big if) the ambulance service actually does turn a profit (as the website states) then why wouldn't the city want to keep running it to take advantage of that situation? Is council collectively that stupid? Ummmm....I don't think so.
Lori Ann Santini
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Mr. Charvella, Pembroke also did not sign the municipal agreement. Mr. Meyer, Now you have both sides of the facts. Would you have thought it only fair to have one side and accept that as gospel? Both the state auditor and an independent auditor question the numbers. You can make your opinion up from all of the information now. Mr. Roach, I am hundred percent aware of the whats and whys of the request for financial assistance from the City to the municipalties. It is the municipalities right to refuse. Unfortunately it may have more of a negative effect then any of them were expecting. If indeed the county is able to obtain a service that will not charge the townships EVER then more power to them. I would like to point out what happened in Livingston County before I hold out hope that it will work. They had both Rural Metro and Monroe covering the county. Both services pulled out of the county without notice. I am personally involved in this situation so all I can do is sit, wait, watch and hope. My concern has always been for the 56,000 citizens of this county. It will remain my number one concern. I will find another job. There is no doubt there. Being negative or cynical won't find a solution. I don't want to see this county go back to the 1980's though.
Chris Charvella
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Thanks Lori, I stand corrected.
Chad Higgins
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Does anyone know why the city only went after the local municipalities for additional monies and not the hospital to help cover the claimed debt this service was creating? Does the hospital not create just as many calls from transfers as the local municipalities do with their EMS calls? If so why is some of the blame for not stepping up being thrown their way to? I am also curious/confused on why this is anyone’s fault but our own? If we are actually (I personally do not think we are but...) losing money then why? Did we not charge enough per call? I have heard we are one of the lowest around when it comes to charging per mile. Why couldn't we raise this to help compensate this said loss? Or when we asked the local municipalities for money why could it not have been for more? If our local government could have provided them with some hard figures on what they thought they were losing would they have paid more? Who knows, we never tried. Almost all of them however did step up and paid what we asked but we still keep throwing the blame their way. And why are we still going to see an increase in taxes this year when we are losing this service that was supposedly costing us so much money?

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