Volunteer Firefighters And The New Law They Don’t Like

July 18, 2022

Advanced Life Support services: that’s when paramedics, EMT’s, firefighters and ambulance workers provide eco cardio grams, IV’s and oxygen and things like that..and many fire departments don’t like part of a new law the governor signed in April of this year, that went into effect about two weeks ago. The law is known as the EMS Cost Recovery Act. The EMS Cost Recovery Act requires volunteer fire departments to pay for the Advanced Life Support services. And many volunteer fire fighters want the governor to remove that part of the law, and they have form letters asking for the governor’s help on this.

Alfred Station’s volunteer fire dept’s form letter to the governor is below.

The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor, State of New York

Dear Gov. Hochul,

The EMS Cost Recovery Act of 2022 (subdivision 4 of section 209-B of the general municipal law) presents a significant burden to volunteer fire departments who choose not to bill their neighbors for ambulance services.

In Alfred, NY, the volunteers of A. E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co. serve their community without charge. These volunteers save the taxpayers of their communities hundreds of thousands of dollars each year by volunteering their time to achieve certifications, train and practice their skills, and respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

While these volunteers are justifiably proud of their service, the EMS Cost Recovery Act does them a great disservice. Should an Advanced Life Support (ALS) intercept be required to provide appropriate patient care, these volunteers must now pay the cost of the intercept.

Moreover, the EMS Cost Recovery Act will put enormous strain on other rural fire departments in Allegany County and on the few agencies permitted by the county to provide ALS intercepts.

I urge you to remove the requirement for non-billing volunteer fire departments to pay for ALS intercepts.