ROTTERDAM, N.Y. -- Nine part-time Rotterdam paramedics let go by the town have all been offered part-time jobs by Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services.
Stan Wilgocki has been a paramedic for nearly 30 years.
"I went from being employed at the police department to being employed here at REMS," he said.
But the news doesn't mean the paramedics are in the clear. In less than a month, they, along with more than 40 other EMS workers, could lose their jobs if the Rotterdam Town Board votes to go with a different emergency services provider.
"The way it was done," Wilgocki explained, "and it seems the speed that it was implemented in, was kind of surprising."
Wilgocki was caught off guard by the police department decision and feels betrayed.
"You question yourself, 'Did I make a difference?' 'Was it the right choice that I made?'" he wondered.
Wilgocki said his part-time position meant working close to 40 hours a week and a steady flow of income. He said he was upset until he learned all of the part-timers let go had been offered new positions with REMS.
Fellow part-timer Dan Minersagen explained his mood as "happy" following the new job offer.
"We just got back from a call," he said. "They called 911 and requested us instead of Mohawk."
It came as a huge relief on an otherwise somber day for the REMS community.
"Kind of just when you lost all hope, that call came in, and it was like kind of like going on your first call ever," Minersagen explained.
As of Tuesday, Mohawk Ambulance is temporarily the primary emergency responder for Rotterdam. However, if a caller requests REMS, REMS will be sent to help.
Service will remain that way until the town picks a permanent emergency company on December 11. However, if REMS does not win the contract with the Town of Rotterdam, the future for the company is uncertain.
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