25 May Joint Public Statement from the Town of Cornwall & Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Boards May 25, 2022 By Danyelle Barrett General 0 For Immediate Release May 19, 2022 Subject: Proposed 3-Year Contract Between Cornwall and the New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NWVAC) for Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Services As most residents understand, individual municipalities are responsible for providing and maintaining an effective and sustainable ambulatory service to their communities. Of recent, it has become more difficult to provide this critical volunteer service due to soaring costs and the dwindling number of available volunteers. This issue has been a topic of debate within the New York State legislature recently, with legislation introduced to establish EMS (the provision of urgent pre-hospital treatment and transport for medical care) as an “essential service.” Long overdue, this effort could potentially reconfigure how ambulatory services are administered across New York State. Unless and until the County and/or State elect to make certain changes, municipalities must seek effective methods to sustain and improve services. Experts contend that the paradigm is evolving and that mergers, or consolidation, exist as an intermediate solution. For over a year, New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NWVAC) has contracted with the Town and Village to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) services to Cornwall residents for a fee, while Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corps (COVAC) provides Basic Life Support (BLS) coverage for a fee, as well. ALS includes the highest level of emergency medicine – paramedic-level treatment – and NWVAC (or another EMS provider with ALS capabilities) has long answered calls within Cornwall for mutual aid, bereft of a contract. COVAC, staffed with Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, has remained a fixture in our community since 1955. A number of years ago, COVAC made the request to bill patients directly and a decision was subsequently reached to dissolve the “ambulance district” overseen by the Town. By billing insurance providers directly, this was to be a more efficient process that allowed for the Corps to remain solvent without monies allocated from Cornwall. The global pandemic and an attendant paucity of available volunteers has made staffing across the past several years a concern. This, coupled with significant debt accrual resulted in COVAC’s appeal for subsistence from the taxpayers – which the Town and Village jointly agreed to support. Despite the provided financial support, there continue to exist a number of issues that have not been resolved, as relates to the professional administration of ambulatory services to our residents. Public safety is of paramount concern. Both the Town Supervisor and Village Mayor have met privately with COVAC leadership and members of COVAC’s elected board and operational membership appeared before a joint boards’ special meeting on January 11, 2022. While COVAC maintains they have mitigated their insolvency issues and improved their first-call response rates, it is the consensus of both boards that NWVAC – widely regarded as the “gold standard” for local ambulatory care – will be contracted to cover both BLS and ALS responsibilities for Cornwall residents. This assumption of responsibilities can be considered a consolidation. Current COVAC members who wish to continue to serve Cornwall residents may interview with NWVAC, and be afforded opportunity to operate out of 1 Clinton Street location, be attired in Cornwall EMS uniforms, and respond to Cornwall service calls in a Cornwall-branded ambulance. This serves both professionalization and training standardization efforts. On balance, we believe that this decision for establishment of a contemporary public/private partnership model -- created and supported by multiple municipalities, including Town of New Windsor, Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson -- will ensure our residents receive the high-quality emergency medical care they deserve. NWVAC enables Cornwall leadership to remain confident in the model’s financial viability and sustainability, administrative transparency, leader oversight, and accountability while serving as an example for the region. This was not an easy decision. Careful consideration was given to all impacted equities. Town and Village elected officials reflected deeply on the many decades of selfless service that COVAC and its volunteers have provided to our community; indeed, it is an honored local institution. But the primary responsibility of public officials is ensuring their constituents are afforded best available services for their hard-earned tax dollars. In our estimation, the proposed three-year contract with NWVAC ensures this. Know that we have explored innumerable options to guarantee confidence in the provision of EMS. And we have reviewed a number of similar municipal consolidated-services agreements. This is the best path forward for Cornwall. On Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., inside the Edward C. Moulton, Jr. Village Board Room, located at Village Hall, 325 Hudson Street, Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York 12520, the Town and Village boards will convene a joint special meeting to address this matter publicly. Meeting will be publicly-noticed and contract provisions will be disclosed. The public will be afforded an opportunity to speak and boards will address some factors that led to this decision. On behalf of the Town and Village Boards, Joshua Thomas Wojehowski Supervisor James A. Gagliano Mayor Related Articles Volunteer with The Town of Cornwall Friendly Visitor Program The Gift of Independence-Volunteer with The Town of Cornwall Friendly Visitor Program Attend a 90-minute Volunteer Zoom Training and complete an application! It is that easy. Tuesday 12/20/22 at 5:30 pm Thursday 1/5/23 at 10:00 am Tuesday 1/17/23 at 5:30 pm Other training dates available. Contact The Town of Cornwall Friendly Visitor Program. Call: 845-534-42168 or 845-341-1173 ext. 305 or email [email protected] to register for the training or for more information about services available. The 90-minute Zoom training will prepare you to provide support to older adults in your own community with the Friendly Visitor Program. Volunteers provide local transportation to essential appointments, grocery shopping, friendly visits, phone check-in calls and light chores. Volunteering is rewarding and flexible. Reservations are required. Background checks and Insurance while volunteering is provided. The Town of Cornwall partners with JFS of Orange County and the Office for the Aging to support older neighbors in Cornwall and Cornwall on Hudson Town of Cornwall Pickleball / Tennis Survey The Town is currently working on a masterplan for Riverlight Park and is looking to locate and eventually construct pickleball courts as part of this process. Residents have requested that the Town stripe half of the tennis courts with pickleball lines to create a safer environment to play their sport until a more permanent solution is implemented. Please take a moment to answer the following questions via the attached survey link. Click Here for Survey Notice of Public Hearing on 1-17-22: Restore NY Grant Application The Town Board will hold a public hearing on January 17, 2023 at 7 PM at Town Hall to receive oral and written comments from the public on the Town of Cornwall’s application for funding under the Restore New York Grant Program. SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING 1-19-23 PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT THE TOWN OF CORNWALL TOWN BOARD WILL HOLD A SPECIAL MEETING on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Conference Room, 183 Main St., Cornwall, NY to conduct interviews for Chief of Police and any other business that may come before the Town Board at that time. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN SUPERVISOR Dated: January 18, 2023 SPECIAL TOWN BOARD MEETING 1-26-23 PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT THE TOWN OF CORNWALL TOWN BOARD WILL HOLD A SPECIAL MEETING on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Conference Room, 183 Main St., Cornwall, NY to appoint a Chief of Police and any other business that may come before the Town Board at that time. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN SUPERVISOR Dated: January 20, 2023 Notice of Special Joint Meeting 5-26-22 YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/2FufId3TbWI Notice is hereby given that the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Board of Trustees and Town of Cornwall Council Members will hold a Special Joint Meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., in the Edward C. Moulton, Jr. Board Room at 325 Hudson Street, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY in order to discuss Town and Village contractual matters with Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corp (COVAC) and New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NWVAC) for Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Services and to address any other business that might come before the Boards. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES VILLAGE OF CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON Jeanne Mahoney Village Clerk Comments are closed.