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Tompkins County EMS program receives unexpected $560K

Tompkins County’s EMS Rapid Response pilot program, aimed at enhancing the region’s volunteer emergency response services, received an unexpected boost of $560,000 in state funding.

The Ithaca Voice reports that a typo in the application led to the county being awarded $630,000, which covers 90% of the program’s first-year operating costs.

Initially, county officials believed they could only apply for 10% of the costs, but a clarification from the state revealed the error.


The program, established by the county’s Department of Emergency Response in 2023, plans to deploy nine fully-trained EMTs in three new SUVs equipped with medical gear.

The funding, announced by County Administrator Lisa Holmes at a legislature meeting on January 16, eases financial concerns, particularly for rural municipalities.

With this substantial state grant, the Tompkins County Legislature, which had previously approved the program, can now fully support the EMS initiative without requiring significant financial contributions from local municipalities.