COVA announces it’s working on agreement with Mercy Flight to take over central Orleans ambulance service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 October 2022 at 6:47 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: COVA heads out for an ambulance call in November 2020.

ALBION – COVA has announced it is working on an agreement with Mercy Flight EMS to have that agency provide ambulance services in central Orleans County.

Mercy Flight EMS is based in Batavia provides ambulance services in Genesee County, Niagara County, the Village of Springville and the Town of Concord as well as mutual aid in the surrounding areas.

Mercy Flight EMS responds to about 6,000 calls for service a year. COVA responds to about 2,000 calls annually.

COVA started 43 years ago. In recent years it has been operating at about a $150,000 to $200,000 deficit. The organization has sought local municipal support but has been unable to line up a commitment in funding.

The COVA board of directors and administrative staff issued the following press release and declined to make any other comments:

“At this time, COVA would like to publicly thank all of its supporters and every single person that has made a donation to our agency. It has been an honor to provide ambulance service to this amazing community.

“The outpouring of support that we have received through the petitions demonstrates that the residents want to keep their ambulance service. Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, it appears this will not be the case.

“The time has come for the COVA Board of Directors along with the administrative staff to pursue a different path. Our goal is to recommend a plan that ensures continued service and employment for our 44 EMTs and Paramedics.

“We would like to publicly announce that COVA has a desire to invite Mercy Flight EMS to step in for us and continue to offer a nonprofit, community-based ambulance service to our constituents.

“This concept is one which we hope our elected officials will consider and embrace so the residents of Central Orleans County will continue receive the service which they have become accustomed to.

“Our proposed arrangement with Mercy Flight would allow a nonprofit, community-based ambulance to remain servicing the central parts of Orleans County.

“If it was not for your continued support and donations, COVA would not have had the privilege to service this community for the past 43 years and for that, we thank you!” – COVA Board of Directors & Administrative Staff