Private ambulance not likely to relieve emergency shortage

NORWICH – It’s unlikely another private emergency service will step in and relieve the strain created by Superior Ambulance’s cut backs in Chenango County, local fire and government officials say, meaning already stretched local departments will have to come up with other ways to cover the added calls.

In January, Superior Ambulance, a Binghamton-based provider, went from having three Chenango ambulances to one in an effort off-set what company and government officials say is a lack of profitable business in the county.

Chenango’s Fire Coordinator Matt Beckwith said the downsize would directly affect outlying volunteer departments that don’t have their own ambulance services and often depend on Superior’s, like Bainbridge, New Berlin, McDonough, Pharsalia and Smyrna. Consequently, the City of Norwich and other squads with expanded services have had to handle increased calls outside their coverage area, a task Norwich Mayor Joseph Maiurano insists is not a burden, yet.

“We’re helping in a time of need,” said Maiurano. “Hopefully they (other departments) will help us in a time of need.”

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