COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The city of Cohoes is one step closer to signing a long-term contract with an ambulance service. According to Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler, the city is looking to approve a longer-term contract with Ambulnz.

At the end of January, Empire Ambulance, which served the city for more than 30 years, announced that its contract was bought out by another company and could no longer be Cohoes’ ambulance service. The city then signed a short term, month-by-month contract with Ambulnz.

While Empire provided service to Cohoes without charging the city, the contract with Ambulnz has been charging the city $50,000 a month. In February, Cohoes put out a request for proposals for ambulance services.

While the city ultimately chose Ambulnz out of all the other proposals in a meeting at the end of March, Mohawk Ambulance, who also put in a bid, announced on April 10 that it withdrew its bid. In addition, the company said that since March 1, they received 24 calls for mutual aid in Cohoes.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and ultimately was the result of false and disparaging
statements that Chief Fahd made about Mohawk during a Cohoes public safety committee
meeting, in his capacity as Chief of the Fire Department,” said Mohawk Ambulance President & CEO James McPartlon III. Chief Joseph Fahd declined to comment.

“Mohawk was one of three companies to bid on the Cohoes request for proposals for ambulance service but was not a finalist for consideration,” said Keeler. “Ambulnz was a finalist due to their proven level of service they have provided to the city since entering into a short term (month to month) contract on February 1, as well as a competitive cost bid.”

The long-term contract was forwarded it to the Common Council for final approval. Keeler anticipates the Council will approve a contract with Ambulnz at its April 25 meeting.