FULTON, NY – Jim Jones, director of Oswego County Emergency Medical Services, recently spoke to the Fulton Noon Rotary Club about the services currently being provided in Oswego County.
Rotarian Lori Greeney introduced Jim to the Rotarians.
Jim’s concern is that Emergency Medical Services may not be available to all citizens in the future.
Currently, Oswego County has seven ambulance services and 32 fire departments providing EMS.
They respond to 60-70 calls per day throughout the county because of the high incidences of heart disease, pulmonary disease and strokes.
Advances in medical technology have greatly increased the survival rate and give a better quality of life to survivors of heart attacks and strokes.
Fire and police services are required by law.
Emergency Medical Services are not required by law, and in most of the county, EMS is staffed by volunteers.
EMS is being used more and more in Oswego County, but unfortunately people feel the service should be free.
Due to the cost of staffing an ambulance ($550,000 per ambulance/year) and the cost of certifying the EMS personnel, Jim feels there could be portions of Oswego County without EMS in the next 10 years.
Many people can not give the time that’s required to be certified as an EMS volunteer.
Jim feels that we need to consider Emergency Medical Services as a public safety function, like the police and fire departments.