BROCTON - Ambulance calls within the Town of Portland and Village of Brocton are one step closer to being done "by the book" after the Portland Town Council meeting.
Special counsel Mark Butler, who was retained by the town, spoke to encourage council members to establish and authorize an ambulance service in Portland in order to solve the ongoing certificate of need situation effecting emergency response within the Brocton and Portland districts.
"The limitations in the public health law govern where an ambulance may operate within the municipal boundary where it serves. When the village of Brocton operates a village ambulance service, it can only deliver service in the village. We have a solution to that, and residents should see no difference whatsoever in how calls are responded to. This is completely a paper transaction," stated Butler.
OBSERVER Photo by Ann Belcher
Attorney Mark Butler explains the process of establishing a townwide, municipal ambulance service to Portland town council. The attorney was retained by Portland to guide them through what Butler described as strictly a “paper transaction” with no changes to service in order to meet state requirements on ambulance certificates of need for municipalities.
"There is no requirement that you own or operate a new ambulance or establish personnel, but what you can do is what you have been doing for years hire the Brocton and Portland ambulance services to operate, just as you've been doing for many years, but now you'll be doing it correctly."
Describing the resolution as being "in the best interest of the community," Butler went on to tell council members that although it is a state governed procedure, the process is a "remarkably simple one." By establishing the new ambulance service, Brocton responders will now be able to legally cover calls outside of village boundaries as normal. Certified copies of the resolution, as well as signed consents from both departments will now be forwarded to the county clerk's office while the rest of the application process will be prepared for Department of Health officials.
Brocton Mayor Dave Hazelton commented on behalf of the village prior to the council's roll call vote approving the resolution.
"People can expect no change in how calls are answered; we're just simply trying to fulfill the state's requirements and do everything legally," he said.
Butler concluded, "The state has held off on doing something drastic by virtue of your being proactive. Everything remains the same as far as how calls will be treated, and I would respectfully request that you consider approving this resolution."
The motion passed unanimously.