Greene supervisor wants county to solve EMS crisis

GREENE – The lack of sufficient ambulance coverage in the county since a private company scaled back services earlier this year has at least one elected official suggesting that Chenango County should do more for its constituents.

“What’s the county going to do with EMS (Emergency Management Services)? ... We built a $30 million thing up on the hill over there to keep the bad guys. What are we doing for the rest of us?” Jack T. Cook, R-Greene, said before members of the Safety and Rules Committee Wednesday.

Cook was referring to the county’s new Public Safety Facility in the Town of Norwich.

It wasn’t the first time the Greene supervisor expressed his concern since Superior Ambulance Services of Binghamton, in business locally since 1996, cut back in mid-January from three emergency vehicles to one. Cook told members of the Planning and Economic Development Committee two weeks ago that he would like “to give something more than a jail back to the taxpayers” and suggested “an ambulance would be good.”

EMS departments in the City of Norwich and southeastern portions of Chenango County have been most affected by the lack of ambulance service countywide, according to Chenango County Emergency Services Deputy Director Matt Beckwith. The towns of Bainbridge, McDonough, New Berlin, Pharsalia, and Smyrna do not offer their own EMS services, so crews from the county’s seat, Greene, Oxford, Sherburne and South Otselic have been forced to pick up the slack.

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