Kendall won’t commit town funds to ambulance service in 2023

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2022 at 3:25 pm

KENDALL – The Town of Kendall won’t be spending money for ambulance services in 2023, Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata said today.

A proposal from Monroe Ambulance sought $18,000 from Kendall as part of a seven-town consortium for ambulance services in Orleans County. Monroe is seeking $200,000 from the seven towns in a contract in an agreement that would have Monroe stationing two ambulances in the county – one in Albion and one in Holley.

But Cammarata said there are already agreements in place for ambulance services in Kendall for 2023, without costing the town.

The Kendall Fire District has a contract with Monroe Ambulance as the primary ambulance provider. That fire district covers Kendall from the Carlton town line heading east to Norway Road.

The Hamlin Morton Walker Fire District includes the rest of the town from Norway Road to the Hamlin town line, and also includes Hamlin. That district has an agreement with Mercy Flight for ambulance services at no cost, Cammarata said. Mercy Flight recently took over for COVA, which was operating in Hamlin.

“I’m very happy because I don’t have to pay $18,000 and we’re getting coverage,” Cammarata said.

The town supervisor said he spoke with leadership with the two fire districts and they said the town didn’t need to do an agreement on its own with either Monroe or Mercy Flight because there are already existing contracts through the fire districts.

“It was a very easy decision to make once I had all the factual data,” Cammarata said.

Four of the seven towns in the consortium – Albion, Barre, Clarendon and Murray – have approved a contract with Monroe for 2023. Carlton and Gaines officials have scheduled a joint meeting for 6 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Carlton Town Hall to discuss ambulance services.

Kendall is the last town in Orleans County to lose its volunteer-run ambulance. The Kendall Fire Department announced in October it would cease its ambulance service on Dec. 31 and look to sell its ambulance. That volunteer squad in recent years would respond to about 200 calls a year.

“This was a difficult decision that we did not take lightly. Due to lengthy transport times and lack of staffing, we are unable to offer a service that lives up to the standards we believe that Kendall, and the surrounding communities, deserves,” according to a letter to the community in October from Kendall FD President Bryan Hardenbrook and Fire Chief Dan Schultz.

Beginning on Jan. 1, many 911 calls in Kendall will still have Kendall personnel on scene to start treatment. An ambulance will respond and people will be transported, if needed, to a hospital, Hardenbrook and Schultz said.

Cammarata said the Monroe and Mercy Flight agreements with the fire districts are for 2023, and will be re-evaluated next year.

He said Kendall is in a different situation from the other six towns negotiating the ambulance contract because Kendall has the two fire districts, including one that stretches into another town and county.

“2024 will be a whole new decision-making process and we’ll look to start that early,” Cammarata said. “Next year, it may be that the consortium is the way to go. For now, in 2023, we will have ambulance coverage. This is our best decision for now. The other towns can meet and decide what’s best for them.”