Hilton Fire Department to end ambulance service

By on June 11, 2018

Greece Ambulance will now serve Hilton-Parma community

After 82 years of providing an ambulance to the Hilton-Parma community for the transport of sick and injured persons to the hospital, the Hilton Fire Department has voted to terminate responding to medical emergencies with ambulances, and provide a First Response service to the community. Although this was a difficult decision for many involved, it was necessary to provide the best level of service to the community.

Effective June 15, 2018, Greece Ambulance will begin serving the Hilton-Parma Fire District with ambulance transport services. Greece Ambulance will provide one ambulance with a paramedic and a driver within the village to respond to 911 calls. In the event that ambulance is unavailable, Greece will either stage another ambulance in the vicinity surrounding the Hilton-Parma area, or dispatch the next closest ambulance to an emergency call as Mutual Aid. The Hilton Fire Department will still respond to certain priority calls with a non-transport vehicle.

Over the last several years it has become more difficult to provide a volunteer crew for the Hilton ambulance. Although many factors come into why this has happened, the reality is that we just do not have enough members to operate a volunteer ambulance service on a 24 hour day, 7 days a week. As a result, many of our calls have been Mutual Aided to another ambulance service for us. This sometimes causes a delay in getting prompt medical care to an individual.

The Hilton-Parma Fire District Commissioners and Chiefs met eight years ago to address the issue of ambulance response. At that time, the response rate was fairly good, however there were random times that we could not provide the necessary crew to respond with the ambulance. Several committees were formed to address the issues that we felt were causing this unavailability, and look for alternatives to increase our response.

Four years later the Commissioners and Chiefs met again to address the issue of ambulance response, and develop a plan that could be implemented if continued attempts to increase call response did not succeed. Several plans were developed that included both part-time coverage and full time coverage. However, as the Fire District is unable to bill for medical services, per New York State Law, all available options, except contracting with another ambulance service would have increased fire taxes. In the case of full time paramedic service, it would have doubled the fire district’s operating budget.

Through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process the fire district asked surrounding ambulance agencies to submit a proposal to provide ambulance service to the Hilton-Parma Fire District. Three proposals were received, and reviewed. It was determined that Greece Ambulance provided the best fit for the fire district, and negotiations are underway to secure a contract for services, then begin operations.

Going forward, when a resident of the Hilton-Parma Fire District calls 9-1-1 requesting an ambulance, Greece Ambulance will be the primary ambulance provider. If they are unavailable, the next closest ambulance will be dispatched. As Greece ambulance does charge for services, a bill will be generated, and submitted to your insurance company for re-imbursement. Questions or concerns about ambulance transport billing, and transport information can be addressed by Greece Ambulance directly. Questions or information regarding previous transports with Hilton Ambulance can be addressed by the Hilton Fire Department.

We would like to thank all the past and present members of the community that have volunteered their time to provide excellent ambulance service to the community. It has been with their dedication and desire that we have been able to remain a Volunteer Ambulance Corps over the last 80 plus years. As emergency medical services continue to evolve, there will no doubt be more changes in the future, with the goal of providing the best pre-hospital medical care to the residents of the Hilton-Parma community, and surrounding areas.

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Hilton Parma Fire District

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