CMT makes its case at public hearing

NORWICH – Several local leaders and emergency officials testified Wednesday that Cooperstown Medical Transport (CMT) is desperately needed in Chenango County to help fill what have become large gaps in rural ambulance coverage.

The Susquehanna Regional EMS Council (SREMS), the body that oversees ambulance protocol in Chenango County and other parts of the Southern Tier, held a public hearing last night in the Howard Johnson’s ballroom to take testimony for and against CMT receiving a permanent certificate to expand its coverage into the county. CMT currently operates out of Otsego and Delaware counties.

“The need is evident,” said Jansen Casscles, the county EMS coordinator, telling the SREMS panel how the loss of a previous commercial provider – Superior Ambulance Service Inc. – in January created gaps in coverage in rural townships, some of which do not have their own operating ambulances. “We’re hurting. I support anyone coming in here.”

Upon reviewing Wednesday’s testimony, SREMS will vote Jan. 10 on whether or not to recommend CMT to the state Department of Health to receive a permanent “Certificate of Need” to take calls in Chenango County.

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