Under new law, N.Y. FDs can bill for ambulance services
The Firefighters Association of the State of New York estimates that about $100 million more in EMS costs could be recovered
By Leila Merrill
ALBANY, N.Y. — As part of the $220 billion state budget signed into law over the weekend by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, fire departments can now be reimbursed for providing ambulance service and transportation under the new EMS Cost Recovery Act, WWNY reported.
Local EMS and fire leaders gave the news a warm reception.
“It’s going to have a pretty big impact,” said Grayden Burnet, EMS captain for Sackets Harbor Volunteer Fire Department. “With this, we’ll be able to get some money to take care of those costs associated with the equipment and medication used on calls and we will be able to buy bigger and better equipment for our residents."
“The passing of that bill is huge for any fire department that has their own ambulance squad,” said Ryan McIntosh, Brownville Fire Department chief. “Maybe down the road you may start seeing some departments switch to paying an EMT or two during the daytime."
The EMS Cost Recovery Act was developed by a coalition of fire service organizations including the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY), the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, and the state Association of Fire Districts. Sen. John E. Brooks and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones sponsored the bill.
FASNY applauded the legislation on its website.
“By allowing municipalities and volunteer fire companies the option to recover costs for rendering EMS services, the legislation will provide relief to volunteer fire department budgets that have been strained by increasing EMS call volumes, especially in the face of rising costs for supplies, state-mandated training, fuel, personnel, and PPE. The bill will facilitate the recovery of a projected $100 million in EMS costs by local fire departments and represents a bipartisan effort to provide equity among New York State’s EMS providers, which include private EMS companies, volunteer ambulance corps (VACs), and fire departments.”