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Comptroller says counties need more support from state addressing EMS shortage

A report released on March 28, 2024, by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, highlights the increasing role of New York counties in providing emergency medical services (EMS) amid challenges such as a decrease in workers and inadequate funding. DiNapoli emphasized the critical nature of reliable EMS for New Yorkers’ safety and urged the state to enhance support and coordination with local governments to find sustainable solutions.

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The report points out a decline in EMS workers, from over 40,000 in 2019 to 33,000 in 2022, and the inconsistent funding sources for EMS, including issues with insurance coverage for ambulance services. Local governments have been forced to subsidize EMS, increasingly relying on federal funds in recent years. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive statewide data hampers the assessment of EMS quality and needs.

DiNapoli’s findings suggest that while local and regional efforts are essential, state-level actions are necessary to address staffing, funding, and data collection challenges in EMS. The report calls for better data management, analysis, and guidance from the state to improve EMS response times and outcomes, highlighting the growing reliance on counties for EMS provision and the need for a coordinated approach to ensure dependable emergency services throughout New York state.



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