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Who should pay? Tompkins County Rapid Medical Response program sparks continued debate about emergency services

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Tompkins County has introduced its Rapid Medical Response (RMR) program, deploying three new emergency vehicles and 10 EMTs to enhance its emergency services, especially in rural areas.

This initiative, voted for by legislators last year, aims to reduce response times in regions where help was previously slow to arrive.


While the program’s early impacts show promise, the debate over funding it beyond 2023 continues among local leaders, according to reporting this week by The Ithaca Voice.

Rural municipalities argue for county-wide funding similar to the sheriff’s office, without splitting costs. Despite this disagreement, the program is currently funded through state and federal grants, along with county reserves.