Local leaders respond to ambulance shortage

CHENANGO COUNTY – Following an announcement that the only private ambulance service in the area is pulling out for good – nearly a year after the company told area leaders it was struggling to stay in business – a solution to the county’s emergency services shortage, whatever it is, needs to come fast, several local leaders said Friday.

Superior Ambulance, a private Binghamton-based EMS squad that handled a significant amount of 911 and transport calls in several townships, announced last week that as of Oct. 25 it would no longer be doing business in Chenango County, with the exception of occasional transports.

In January, Superior cut back its service from three ambulances to one due to a lack of profitable business, company representatives said. It previously covered a bulk of the calls in several outlying districts, including Bainbridge, New Berlin, McDonough, Pharsalia and Smyrna. Fire officials say the City of Norwich EMS squad has taken up the majority of calls in the northern half of the county since.

“Do I know the answer? No, not yet,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Decker. “There is a sense of urgency, and we are looking at a few ways we can assist.”

Decker said he couldn’t discuss what some of those options were specifically, but said finding a company to replace Superior was one of them.

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