Senator Pam Helming is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to prioritize ambulance services in rural communities across New York.
In 2021, the state passed Senate Bill S3503, which created the Rural Ambulance Services Task Force, a group of 12 individuals tasked with evaluating the challenges faced by ambulance workers in rural areas and making recommendations to improve services.
However, the task force has reportedly made only three out of 14 appointments, with no normal meeting notices, and the legislation is set to expire in December 2023. In a letter sent to Governor Hochul, Senator Helming requested that the task force be convened as soon as possible and asked for an update on the situation.
“I sent a formal letter to the governor, the temporary president of the New York State Senate, and the Speaker of the House on December 8 asking for an update, begging them to convene the task force,” Helming said. “I have not received a single response.”
Joining Helming in calling for action on the issue was Chief Matt Sproul of the Canandaigua Emergency Squad, who highlighted the critical need for ambulance services in rural areas. “There are a lot of individuals who are calling at this time for an ambulance for emergency needs and due to no ambulance being available within an appropriate amount of time, their chances of a better outcome are decreasing every minute that goes by,” Chief Sproul said.
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