WEEDSPORT — The village of Weedsport voted to lease its ambulance to Old Erie Ambulance Service during its regular meeting Wednesday.
This decision follows a Central New York Regional Emergency Medical Services Council meeting in September that approved the transfer of ambulance operating authority from the Weedsport Fire Department to Old Erie, a Jordan-based ambulance company.
Fire Chief David James said he's had Weedsport's ambulance listed out of service since the REMSCo meeting.
"We're concerned about operating a rig out of here as quickly as feasible," said Old Erie President Doug Milton.
The village board and Milton discussed whether Old Erie should lease or buy the ambulance, and due to less of an immediate cost to Old Erie as well as more flexibility for the village, the parties decided a lease was the best option.
With Old Erie leasing the ambulance, Milton explained that via a resolution, Weedsport could make it so its medics could also operate it.
"We wanted it to appear like no major changes for your organization and your community," Milton said.
"It could be half and half, or it could be us or it could be them all the time, it depends," said Deputy Mayor Chere Perkins after the meeting about who will primarily operate the ambulance. Old Erie can get over to Weedsport to use the ambulance quickly, she added.
The ambulance will be stored at the village facility and Old Erie will insure it and pay for all operations and maintenance.
Milton and the village decided that Old Erie would pay $2,337 twice a year for the first year of the three-year lease and consider going to quarterly payments in the future. At the end of the three years, Milton said, the village will still own the ambulance and Old Erie will have paid the village about $14,000 which is in the ballpark of what its total value was estimated.
Milton said the state Department of Health will also have to approve the lease, but as he's been in frequent communication with them, he didn't think there would be an issue.