LAKE GEORGE - Ambulances based in the town of Thurman will soon roll again.
The local government voted Jan. 24 to sign a contract with the local emergency squad. The pending agreement ends a year-long squabble between the town board and the the independent Thurman Emergency Medical Services Inc.
Up through this week, the town had not contracted for emergency response services with the squad, citing the agency's inability to provide Advanced Life Support expertise, 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.
But as of Monday, the conflict was history, based on a new agreement approved unanimously by the town board. The deal designates Thurman EMS as the contracted response squad for the town, as it has been in the past.
The agreement calls for Thurman EMS to provide Basic Life Support, with the understanding a local 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, Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood said. The contract is for a sum of $50,000, with $12,500 payable in quarters, with the first installment 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.