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Friday, July 11, 2008

N.Y. Will Lose Staff for Air Rescue

In the city of Colonie, N.Y., city officials are ending a 15-year relationship between local paramedics and state police by refusing to staff the Lifeguard Air Rescue Program. Reported by an area Web site, timesunion.com, the city weighed costs and liability and decided that it will focus its efforts on the local community instead of covering the entire capital-area region (a 75-mile radius from Albany Airport) via air. The union for the Colonie paramedics is not happy with the city’s decision and will soon meet to determine how to respond to the decision. Local EMS crews were on-call for the Air Rescue Program and were a good fit due to the fact that the airport is in the center of town. But, the EMS crews rarely responded to emergencies in Colonie because the city is also so close to a major hospital. The crews received letters of commendation for their actions, but the city still finds that the program may not be that profitable and the city of Colonie would be better served by keeping its emergency responders at home. State police will look for people to replace the Colonie paramedics, but the paramedics’ union is still deciding how it will react to the cities decision.
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