Barre first of 7 towns to sign contract with Monroe Ambulance

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 November 2022 at 10:00 pm

Monroe will be paid $8K by Barre, with 7 towns together paying $200K in one-year contract

BARRE – The Barre Town Board this evening unanimously approved a one-year contract with Monroe Ambulance to provide ambulance services in the community.

Barre will pay Monroe $8,000 in 2023 as part of the contract that is being negotiated from seven towns in central and eastern Orleans – Albion, Barre, Carlton, Clarendon, Gaines, Kendall and Murray.

The contract calls for the seven towns to collectively pay Monroe $200,000 for its service. Monroe will station an ambulance in Albion and Holley, said Sean Pogue, Barre town supervisor.

The share for each town is based on percentage of call volume. Towns with more calls will pay more in the contract with Monroe. The contract includes the following compensation from the towns: Albion, $84,400; Barre, $8,000; Carlton, $14,800; Clarendon, $18,800; Gaines, $24,600; Kendall, $18,000; and Murray, $30,600.

The new contract starts on Jan. 1 and Monroe is to receive its municipal payment by Feb. 15.

Monroe will still bill patients and insurance companies for services. The Rochester-based company currently is the main ambulance provider in Kendall, Clarendon and Murray, but Monroe doesn’t typically station an ambulance in Orleans County.

The seven towns have been meeting with Monroe regularly for at least two months, trying to secure an ambulance provider with COVA in Albion on the verge of going out of business.

COVA officials want Mercy Flight EMS to take over the service area. Mercy Flight said it would keep COVA medics and staff, and would work out of the COVA base.

Pogue said that situation with Mercy Flight is happening fast and Town Board isn’t sure of the details of a Mercy Flight takeover and the level of service to the community.

“There are too many changing factors,” Pogue said at this evening’s Town Board meeting. “There is too much unknown with Mercy Flight and COVA right now.”

The Town Board in a 5-0 vote approved a one-year agreement with Monroe Ambulance. The contract, which needs approval by all seven towns, will give the community a chance to see whether Monroe can provide satisfactory service to the seven towns. Mercy Flight could remain an option for mutual aid in 2023, and could be the main provider after that if the towns aren’t happy with Monroe, Pogue said.

“Let’s see how Monroe and Mercy Flight EMS do with their response times,” Pogue said. “Monroe is not going to have a monopoly.”

Town Councilman Dave Waters asked which ambulance provider will be called to a scene if both are operating in the town. Pogue said that will be up to a 911 dispatcher to see which ambulance can respond the fastest.

Barre is the first Town Board to approve the contract. Pogue said the other towns will meet this week and next week to vote on the agreement.