Rural/Metro takes over from East Rochester Volunteer Ambulance

Posted at: 07/26/2013 9:53 PM
Updated at: 07/26/2013 11:22 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

After 75 years of service, as of last month, the East Rochester Volunteer Ambulance turned over control to Rural/Metro.

All of the employees get to stay, they were just hired by Rural/Metro, but what does this mean for the community?

"We were solicited by the town and village of East Rochester," says Rural/Metro spokesperson LaShay Harris. "We have a three-year contract that will service the citizens of East Rochester."

The changes are subtle: an extra logo on a truck and extra crews on staff. With the Rural/Metro merger, now 24 hours a day a paramedic will be on staff in East Rochester.

"A paramedic is able to bring certain emergency room procedures, like ALS, to the patients side," says Harris. "Where an EMT is only able to do some basic life support measures."

Amanda Ciavarri asked, "So, for the people in East Rochester, what does this merger mean when it comes to how much they pay and response times."

"We anticipate increase response times and better service because of this change," says Harris. "No more additional cost to the tax payers, which is great. It is a win-win. I also anticipate there will be no changes... We bill the way they billed."    

So, is this 'win-win' situation a good idea for other communities with volunteer ambulance programs who are looking for ways to improve their service?

"I will never say no," says Harris. "I will tell you that if they do this, it is a model they can look at and we've shown that this is successful."

Rural/Metro didn't have a specific figure on just how much response times have improved, that's because the merger is too new to tell. News10NBC also reached out to the mayor to see why he decided to move forward with this change and my calls went unreturned, but we will try again on Monday and we'll keep you updated.