ambulance https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png ambulance https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Thu, 29 Feb 2024 17:14:36 -0500 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Tue, 31 Jan 2023 23:08:00 -0500 City ambulance? How about an ambulance in the city: suggested during budget talks https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/city-ambulance-how-about-an-ambulance-in-the-city-suggested-during-budget-talks/626876
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Monday evening’s city budget talks took a step back in time, slightly dé·jà vu in reverse when it came to the city fire and police departments.

City Councilman Paul Viele suggested the possibility of having one ambulance on reserve just in city limits.

“For police and fire reserves, I want to see some research on response times for the (Mercy EMS) ambulance. If they're not good, I’d like to maybe see if we can get one ambulance for the city, that just takes care of the city limits. Its response time isn't that good,” Viele said during the workshop at City Hall. “There's one incident, the kid got bitten by a bee. And there was no ambulance, and they throw the kid in the police car to bring him to the hospital.”

“We’ve got to have a backup pickup truck thing for the hospital. You know, I don't want to spend $250,000 on an ambulance. But just something to keep someone alive at the hospital. If your wife is having a heart attack, and there’s not an ambulance, you’re going to be pissed off.”

City Manager Rachael Tabelski said that she could check with Mercy EMS to see if some type of arrangement could be made to house an ambulance within city limits. Mercy has a current contract with Genesee County to provide ambulance service countywide, which means that wherever an emergency occurs, the ambulance responds to that municipality within the county.

“There is the option for the city to contract for one soul ambulance from Mercy to be staged in the city at all times. What that costs, what negotiations are, I don't know. And opening negotiations in this manner probably isn't the best way to get a good price, because now it's public,” she said. “But I think we have a lot more to explore. I don't disagree with you, that if an ambulance isn't available for our families in the city of Batavia, that's a severe issue, or if our kids were out in sports fields. And that poor kid, I can't even imagine.”

The service throughout the county is strapped as it is, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said.

“I mean, the county is struggling with staffing and ambulance and shortages. They're struggling now. So I don't think it's by design, I think it's just manpower, we'd have to find out,” Jankowski said. “But I knew they were struggling. They couldn't even get in the volunteers.”

The dé·jà vu factor here is that the city at one time operated its own ambulance service within the fire department. As a cost-saving measure in 2008, a prior City Council and city management agreed to shut down city ambulance operations in lieu of a private company taking over the service.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski recalled how “complicated” the process was at the time, and it involved fire department staff and public protests and concern. The city cannot simply operate its own ambulance due to health certifications, he and city management said, but perhaps an ambulance could be housed inside city limits if Mercy agreed to such an agreement.

Tabelski said that both the police and fire chief can talk more about this topic at a future meeting, as, per a related report, there is a “critical lack of services from ambulance not only here but across the state,” she said.

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Top Photo: City Councilman Paul Viele, and Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. talk about the 2023-24 budget during a workshop Monday at City Hall, and above, City Manager Rachael Tabelski, left, Assistant Manager Erik Fix, far right, city staff and council members work through the proposed budget line by line. Photos by Joanne Beck.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/city-ambulance-how-about-an-ambulance-in-the-city-suggested-during-budget-talks/626876#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/city-ambulance-how-about-an-ambulance-in-the-city-suggested-during-budget-talks/626876 Jan 31, 2023, 11:08pm ambulance City ambulance? How about an ambulance in the city: suggested during budget talks jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/viele_and_geno.jpg?itok=OOR8unyH" width="460" height="590" alt="viele_and_geno.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Monday evening’s city budget talks took a step back in time,&nbsp;slightly dé·jà vu in reverse when it came to the city fire and police departments.</p> <p>City Councilman Paul Viele suggested the possibility of having one ambulance on reserve just in city limits.</p> <p>“For police and fire reserves, I want to</p>
Busy afternoon ties up nearly all ambulances in Genesee County https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/busy-afternoon-ties-nearly-all-ambulances-genesee-county/21155 It doesn't happen often, but late this afternoon there was a shortage of in-service ambulances serving Genesee County.

All Mercy EMS units were tied up on accidents and medical calls, Le Roy, Byron and Oakfield were tied up, too, and crews in Bethany, Darien and Alexander were requested to respond to their respective fire halls to stand by in case needed.

At the time, there were no in-service ambulances within Batavia city limits. There were also no pending calls in the city at the time.

Within 30 minutes of the Bethany, Darien and Alexander crews being put on standby, three Mercy EMS units came in service.

"It doesn't happen a lot, but there is a system in place to protect the public," said Tim Yaeger, director of emergency management for Genesee County.

Yaeger explained that there is a tiered-response system with Mercy EMS, the respective Volunteer Fire departments' units and the medics with volunteer departments. The county also has mutual aide agreements with neighboring counties.

The volunteer departments can respond to other jurisdictions when the primary ambulance services are tied up.

There's been some talk, Yaeger said, of volunteer departments getting out of ambulance service because of the expense and the difficulty in keeping the services staffed with qualified volunteers.

"This is why we've got to do everything we can to keep those units in business, because they fill in during busy times," Yaeger said.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/busy-afternoon-ties-nearly-all-ambulances-genesee-county/21155#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/busy-afternoon-ties-nearly-all-ambulances-genesee-county/21155 Oct 12, 2010, 7:10pm ambulance Busy afternoon ties up nearly all ambulances in Genesee County Howard Owens <p>It doesn't happen often, but late this afternoon there was a shortage of in-service ambulances serving Genesee County.</p> <p>All Mercy EMS units were tied up on accidents and medical calls, Le Roy, Byron and Oakfield were tied up, too, and crews in Bethany, Darien and Alexander were requested to respond</p>
Mercy releases numbers from first year of EMS operations https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/mercy-releases-numbers-first-year-ems-operations/19934 (UPDATED 12:48 p.m.)

It's been a year since Mercy EMS was established in Genesee County, and during that time Mercy has responded to 4,767 calls in the county.

During the same period, Mercy Flight has been put in the air for medical missions 92 times. There were 166 requests for the helicopter.

In the prior 12 months in Genesee County there were 151 requests and 83 flights.

"As you can see there was no significant change in air transports," said Mercy VP Margaret Ferrentino in an e-mail response to a question about comparable data. "This data along with results of our internal system wide utilization reviews supports appropriate use of resources."

In a statement, Ferrentino said: "We are extremely proud of the men and women at Mercy EMS; their commitment to the community and their dedication to our mission has been outstanding.

“We value the partnerships that have developed with the hospital and agencies throughout the county. The resulting teamwork allows us to effectively provide critical service to those who live, work or play in Genesee County.”

Mercy employs 51 people and has seven ambulances and three paramedic cars in service in Genesee County. 

When Mercy EMS launched on Sept. 1, 2009, the organization hired 57 people. Of those, 43 are still with Mercy.

From the press release:

“To support our patient care focus, we continue to add equipment assets and strive to provide the best work environment possible for our employees,” said Douglas H. Baker, Mercy Flight’s CEO and founding president.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/mercy-releases-numbers-first-year-ems-operations/19934#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/mercy-releases-numbers-first-year-ems-operations/19934 Sep 7, 2010, 10:13am ambulance Mercy releases numbers from first year of EMS operations Howard Owens <p>(UPDATED 12:48 p.m.)</p> <p>It's been a year since Mercy EMS was established in Genesee County, and during that time Mercy has responded to 4,767 calls in the county.</p> <p>During the same period, Mercy Flight has been put in the air for medical missions 92 times. There were 166 requests for</p>
Oakfield volunteer ambulance responds to call in Batavia https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/oakfield-volunteer-ambulance-responds-call-batavia/18853 An interesting situation arose tonight that's just kind of worth noting for the record: Mercy EMS ran out of ambulances.

When a girl fell from a scooter on Summit Street at about 10:45 p.m., just a block from UMMC, a dispatcher asked Batavia City Fire who should respond. The city asked for Oakfield.

Seconds later, a Mercy EMS ambulance noted they were in service (meaning free to take a call). The dispatcher asked city fire if Mercy EMS should respond. City fire responded that it was only a "BLS call" (basic life support).

Dispatch informed the Mercy EMS unit that Oakfield was responding. The unit, with a siren blaring in the background, informed dispatch it was only three minutes out. The dispatcher responded that the agency with jurisdiction had already requested Oakfield.

Oakfield's ambulance was on scene within minutes and had the patient quickly transported to UMMC.

I can't think of another time in which I've personally heard a volunteer ambulance service responding to a call in the city since Mercy took over ambulance service.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/oakfield-volunteer-ambulance-responds-call-batavia/18853#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/oakfield-volunteer-ambulance-responds-call-batavia/18853 Aug 3, 2010, 11:31pm ambulance Oakfield volunteer ambulance responds to call in Batavia Howard Owens <p>An interesting situation arose tonight that's just kind of worth noting for the record: Mercy EMS ran out of ambulances.</p> <p>When a girl fell from a scooter on Summit Street at about 10:45 p.m., just a block from UMMC, a dispatcher asked Batavia City Fire who should respond. The city</p>
COVA 2010 Open House https://www.thebatavian.com/steve-ognibene/cova-2010-open-house/16018 Tonight I attended the COVA "Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance" Open House at their headquarters in Albion NY.  Over 150 people were on hand during this occational rainy event to give thanks to all EMT's, Mercy flight, Volunteers, etc. Much of the information is on the website at :www.covaems.com/

I interviewed EMT Patrick Lamka and asked the question, What is COVA?

Here is a quick video of Mercyflight taking off:

Many photos during this event:

Lots of people on hand even though it poured at times but a great turnout !

Yummy popcorn and activities for kids.

Some staff members ...

One of the ambulances from the fleet.

The newest ambulance to the fleet, not yet lettered.  Just arrived.

Patrick Lamka and Tricia Warren

posing near the Mercyflight helicopter ...

The 2010 COVA staff

They thanked everyone who came to support, donate and attend tonight's open house.  Providng services to help others in emergency needs.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/steve-ognibene/cova-2010-open-house/16018#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/steve-ognibene/cova-2010-open-house/16018 May 21, 2010, 11:22pm ambulance COVA 2010 Open House sognibene <p>Tonight I attended the COVA "Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance" Open House at their headquarters in Albion NY.&nbsp; Over 150 people were on hand during this occational rainy event to give thanks to all EMT's, Mercy flight, Volunteers, etc. Much of the information is on the website at :<a href="http://www.covaems.com/">www.covaems.com/</a></p> <p>I</p>
Batavia Council votes against extra level of life-saving service for city residents https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/batavia-council-votes-against-extra-level-life-saving-service-city-residents/1264 What if you were having a heart attack or some other serious medical emergency and it was one of those rare times when all Mercy EMS ambulances were tied up on calls outside of the city?

Wouldn't it be a good thing if a paramedic from the city's fire department -- the emergency responder most likely to get to your house first in such a situation -- was certified to provide Advanced Life Support service?

On an 8-0 vote Monday, the Batavia City Council decided to deny city residents that extra level of protection, even though it wouldn't cost taxpayers a single dime.

"I think we had to decide whether we wanted our fire department chasing ambulances, or do we want our fire department used for the function it's best suited for," said City Council President Marianne Clattenburg.

She characterized the vote as a policy decision that extends from the city's decision to get out of the ambulance business.

She said the council wants the fire department to concentrate on fire prevention, code enforcement, public safety, fire suppression and education.

Fire Chief Ralph Hyde requested the council approve a program that would have allowed the department to become ALS certified, allowing its firefighters that are trained as paramedics -- 16 of them are, and all future hires will be, by state law -- to provide a higher level of life-saving services. Paramedic-trained firefighters can only provide Basic Life Support services without ALS certification for the department.

Because of state reimbursement programs and the ability to recoup training fees from other jurisdictions, city taxpayers would not have been required to foot any portion of the bill for ALS certification.

Among the critical life-saving procedures that ALS-certified medics can provide that BLS paramedics cannot is cardiac defibrillation.

"The Basic Life Support will still be there," Clattenburg said. "Once we divested of the ambulance, and the (new service) ambulance seems to be running fine, they seem to be getting where they're going and they've even added personnel and vehicles to respond to the call volume, so it really is a change in focus, because when you have a whole fire department that's geared toward to ALS but yet there is someone else doing that now doesn't make sense, just to keep that mindset and that training level there when that's not their primary job."

For more on the difference between BLS and ALS, read the following Wikipedia entries:

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/batavia-council-votes-against-extra-level-life-saving-service-city-residents/1264#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/batavia-council-votes-against-extra-level-life-saving-service-city-residents/1264 Jan 25, 2010, 11:09pm ambulance Batavia Council votes against extra level of life-saving service for city residents Howard Owens <p>What if you were having a heart attack or some other serious medical emergency and it was one of those rare times when all Mercy EMS ambulances were tied up on calls outside of the city?</p> <p>Wouldn't it be a good thing if a paramedic from the city's fire department</p>
City ambulances up for auction today https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-auction-today/10964 The retired ambulances of the discontinued service of the Batavia Fire Department are up for auction today.

The ambulances and related items are being sold through the Teitsworth auction site.

A 2008 Ford F350 XLT w/McCoy Miller body and a 6.4-liter diesel engine is bringing in the highest bid so far -- $10,000. The next highest bid is $3,500 for a 2005 Ford F350. The auction closes in a little more than 5 hours.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-auction-today/10964#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-auction-today/10964 Nov 18, 2009, 12:37pm ambulance City ambulances up for auction today Howard Owens <p>The retired ambulances of the discontinued service of the Batavia Fire Department are up for auction today.</p> <p>The ambulances and related items are being sold through the <a href="http://teitsworth.cusauctions.com/?auction=BATAMB09">Teitsworth auction site</a>.</p> <p>A 2008 Ford F350 XLT w/McCoy Miller body and a 6.4-liter diesel engine is bringing in the highest bid</p>
Former ambulance will be converted to light-rescue vehicle for fire department https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/former-ambulance-will-be-converted-to-light-rescue-vehicle-for-fire-department/10503 Fire Chief Ralph Hyde will get his light-rescue vehicle, and it's the one he's requested during at least three City Council meetings now.

After a 20-minute discussion at last night's council meeting, the council sort of collectively shrugged and said, "go ahead."

At the end of the discussion, after saying Hyde has "our blessing," Council President Charlie Mallow motioned his hands like a priest, which drew a laugh.

Hyde has sought permission to convert one of the former ambulances -- the newest one, bought within the past year with a state grant -- into a vehicle that could carry additional rescue equipment that doesn't fit on either Ladder 15 or Engine 12.

Council members dithered, asking him to justify the need for the ambulance as a rescue vehicle. Then they asked him to research the option of selling the ambulance and purchasing a new truck, since the ambulance already has 50,000 miles on it.

Hyde's report Monday night put the cost at a new vehicle at between $65,000 and $189,000.

"It would take a $1,000 to convert it, so it’s far cheaper than going out and getting a new vehicle," Hyde said. "And It’s something that we’ve needed for many years."

Previously, Hyde's argument for the ambulance didn't include using some space inside the vehicle to give people displaced from their homes by fire a place to stay warm.

"In the past, we've had people have to wait outside for 30 minutes to an hour, and had to send firefighters in to retrieve shoes and jackets," Hyde said.

The table and benches inside could also serve as a convenient place to interview fire witnesses.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski complained that he thought the purpose of getting rid of the ambulance service was to save money and he expected all six of the city's ambulances to be sold. Mallow pointed out that previously, the council resolution only authorized the sale of the five older ambulances.

A vote was not required on the decision to convert the ambulance into a light-rescue vehicle since the city owns it and it's already assigned to the Fire Department.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/former-ambulance-will-be-converted-to-light-rescue-vehicle-for-fire-department/10503#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/former-ambulance-will-be-converted-to-light-rescue-vehicle-for-fire-department/10503 Oct 27, 2009, 11:13am ambulance Former ambulance will be converted to light-rescue vehicle for fire department Howard Owens <p>Fire Chief Ralph Hyde will get his light-rescue vehicle, and it's the one he's requested during at least three City Council meetings now.</p> <p>After a 20-minute discussion at last night's council meeting, the council sort of collectively shrugged and said, "go ahead."</p> <p>At the end of the discussion, after saying</p>
Council looking at options for newest ambulance, sell or keep for fire department https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/council-looking-options-newest-ambulance-sell-or-keep-fire-department/9844 Interim Fire Chief Ralph Hyde has a simple request: Let him use the newest of the retired city ambulances as an additional emergency response vehicle.

It would carry specialized rescue equipment that doesn't currently fit on the fire trucks and provide an air-conditioned space for overheated firefighters to rest when on scene of fires.

Hyde said with all the equipment stored in one mobile vehicle, instead of lockers in the fire station, the equipment could be deployed to emergency scenes when needed much more rapidly.

Councilman Bill Cox questioned, however, the wisdom of not selling the most valuable of the old ambulances at a time when the city still has $1.3 million in debt.

His suggestion set off a discussion last night that revealed that four of the council members present favored letting Hyde repurpose the ambulance, and four favoring selling it.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski suggested that the city look at selling the ambulance -- which has 50,000 miles on it -- and using that money to buy a new, potentially more suitable, all-wheel-drive vehicle for the fire department.

All members agreed the city should at least explore that idea.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/council-looking-options-newest-ambulance-sell-or-keep-fire-department/9844#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/council-looking-options-newest-ambulance-sell-or-keep-fire-department/9844 Sep 29, 2009, 4:16pm ambulance Council looking at options for newest ambulance, sell or keep for fire department Howard Owens <p>Interim Fire Chief Ralph Hyde has a simple request:&nbsp;Let him use the newest of the retired city ambulances as an additional emergency response vehicle.</p> <p>It would carry specialized rescue equipment that doesn't currently fit on the fire trucks and provide an air-conditioned space for overheated firefighters to rest when on</p>
City ambulances - out of service https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-out-service/9114

I happened across this scene this afternoon -- four of the city ambulances sitting next to the fire hall on Evans -- out of service.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-out-service/9114#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/city-ambulances-out-service/9114 Sep 1, 2009, 10:54pm ambulance City ambulances - out of service Howard Owens <p></p> <p>I happened across this scene this afternoon -- four of the city ambulances sitting next to the fire hall on Evans -- out of service.</p>