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Thurman poised to sign EMS contract, ending a year-long controversy

LAKE GEORGE - Ambulances in the town of Thurman may soon begin to roll soon again.

The local government is poised to sign a contract with the local emergency squad, town Supervisor Evelyn Wood said Friday. The pending agreement, if formally adopted, ends a year-long squabble between the town board and the squad.

Through Wednesday, the town had not contracted for emergency response services with the Thurman Emergency Medical Services, citing their inability to provide Advanced Life Support services, shifting service costs, sporadic low response rate, uncertain finances, and a lack of cooperation from EMS officials.

The Thurman squad has not responded to calls since Jan. 1 because of the lack of town board support - Warrensburg EMS has been handling calls voluntarily.

Friday, Wood said she and board member Leon Galusha had met Thursday with EMS squad president Jim DeSourdy, and they had worked out a deal for his agency to again be the contracted response squad for the town.

The deal, subject to formal endorsement Monday by the town board, calls for Thurman EMS to provide Basic Life Support, with the understanding an ambulance transporting a patient in critical condition will pick up an Advanced Life Support technician from the Warrensburg squad along the route to the hospital. Such an arrangement was routine for years until the squad had its ALS certification revoked last year due to manpower shortage.

The new pending contract calls for a six-month trial period to see if the arrangement works out, Wood said. The contract is for a sum of $50,000, payable in quarters, with the first sum to be paid in February.

The contract bears a performance guarantee to resolve lingering concerns of the board, Wood said. The contract calls for the squad to respond to 80 percent of its Basic Life Support calls in order for the contract to extend beyond its trial period, she said.

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