OSSINING, N.Y. The town board has passed an agreement with Croton-on-Hudson to provide the village with a paid Emergency Medical Technician in order to help boost lagging response times.
"We're very pleased to be working with our neighbors to the north. It's a good thing to be able to provide mutually beneficial services in an efficient way," said Ossining Town Supervisor Catherine Borgia.
The EMT, to be hired by the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps and paid by Croton through Ossining, will work five days a week, 12 hours a day, while the Croton Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CVAC) recruits more members. The EMT will be paid $16.92 per hour.
"We should be able to see a measurable difference," said Richard Nagle, Emergency Service Coordinator for Croton and appointed liaison between the Board of Trustees and CVAC, about response times from the ambulance corps.
The ambulance corps response times have been in question for the last few months, as more and more calls are being routed to neighboring agencies, also known as mutual aid.
The new EMT is expected to start a 60-hour work week on July 18, at 7 a.m., and to work that schedule until the end of October.
The village of Croton hopes to reach a more permanent, "holistic" solution by October, said Croton Trustee Ian Murtaugh. A proposal that will address the overall staffing problems for the CVAC is being formulated by the ambulance corps itself in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and Nagle.
Currently, CVAC has only 27 active members, many of whom are unavailable during the agency's busy daytime hours, and some of whom don't live in the village proper. The agency's captain is not available five days per week, as he travels for work, and many members of the agency agree that about the same "12 members" show up to most calls, according to an earlier interview with CVAC President Bill McCabe.
"It's a good short-term solution. I think this is a very smart way for municipalities to share expertise and services," Borgia said.
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