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EMS providers step up after the largest ambulance service in Fulton County closes

February 10, 2019 08:41 AM

The Fulton County Ambulance service abruptly announced they were closing on Friday due to a lack of cash flow, ambulance providers like GAVAC of Amsterdam and JAVAC of Johnstown quickly stepped up to help out.  

"Business goes on as usual up there, nobody is waiting for an ambulance, we've done several calls already in the past 24 hours" said Michael Swartz of GAVAC.

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"We've actually put extra crew, extra crews 24/7 so that we could cover response time, within 12 hours of the announcement we had full staffing" said Cindy Kimbel of JAVAC.

The Fulton County Ambulance was the largest ambulance service provider in the county; hence why both nearby providers are anxious to learn what the long term solution will be. 

"Fulton County Ambulance did a number of calls, roughly 8,000 each year so obviously there would be more to be done. We would be glad to help take over whatever we could" said Joe Potter of JAVAC.

Director of emergency management, Steve Santa Maria says in the interim, they've broken down the county into fire districts so there won't be a lapse in providers. 

"We don't have a building up there so our ambulances are posted mobile throughout the city, crews are actually in the city there is no out the door time" said Swartz.

While GAVAC has mobile units on site, JAVAC says they're the closest.

"I don't think the community is really aware of what happened and I don't think there's a lot of concern because ambulances are still running" said Kimbel.

The county says they plan on meeting early this coming week to make some more decisions. 

"Ultimately it's for the people, EMS is an emergency, an entity with the communities, the towns, it really needs to be structured will so they can respond to the people" said Potter.

Credits

Brooke Selby

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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