ROTTERDAM, N.Y. - A budget passed in Rotterdam Wednesday means the Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services company will have to reapply if it wants to continue to operate in the town it's served for decades.
The budget passed with a 4-0 vote and the request for proposal to provide EMS to the town was a 5-0 vote. All town board members were in favor of opening up Rotterdam's Emergency Medical Services to outside private companies.
"To save tax payer expenses it will be a continuing savings as we go into the future," Town Board Supervisor Harry Buffardi explained.
As a result, the current Rotterdam EMS company will have to rebid.
Dean Romano, a member of Rotterdam EMS, said, "We're concerned that there won't be employment after the [request for proposal]."
Forty-eight people work for the REMS, a private company that's been serving the town for 77 years.
"We have done the research, we have run the numbers," Ramano explained. "We know the call volume. We know the community."
Buffardi said the town could save upwards of $600,000 a year. A cost savings they said they can't turn down.
"It's certainly costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to do that service," he explained.
He also thinks the service will only get better. "Certainly the residents will have an enhanced level of service," he continued. "And not be burdened by the tax of doing it."
Buffardi continued to say the system is flawed with a 20 minute response time to calls.
That was a claim REMS denied.
"Twenty minute response times being on a regular basis; that's not realistic" Ramano said.
He said they hope the town board votes to keep the local jobs in Rotterdam.
"It keeps all the EMS jobs intact," he continued. "It keeps a local town company in business."
The town will take bids until November 27. On December 11, bidders will make presentations to the Town Board and Executive Session for Board Members. The board will then vote to reward the EMS bid to one of the applicants that night.