HEMPSTEAD, NY -- The Hempstead Village Board of Trustees recently agreed to a make permanent a trial contract with the North Shore-LIJ Health System ambulance service for emergency medical services.The unanimous vote was taken by the board on December 4 and had the strong support of Mayor Wayne T. Hall.
In June, Hempstead Village began a free six-month trial arrangement with North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Center for Emergency Medical Services (CEMS) to provide emergency medical services for the Village.
This new contract will guarantee 24-hour, seven-day-a-week ambulance and emergency medical coverage to the village at no cost to local government.
Previously, when Nassau County ambulance services were required in Hempstead, a village police officer was assigned to drive the vehicle to the hospital while the accompanying emergency medical technician (EMT) tended to the victim.
This practice put an unnecessary strain on the village’s police department, which receives almost 6,000 yearly calls for emergency help.
“Before, when our village police called for Nassau County EMT services, only one EMT responded so that meant that a village police officer had to drive the ambulance to the hospital,” explained Mayor Hall. "I cannot have our officers driving an ambulance. I need my cops on the street. Having a police officer become an ambulance driver was nonsense. Keeping cops here in the village is crucial.”
North Shore-LIJ offers the ambulance service at no cost to the village. The hospital bills the patient's insurance company for the services provided.
With the new Hempstead contract, the North Shore-LIJ Center for EMS now has four agreements with the region’s local governments to deliver EMS services.
North Shore-LIJ ambulances have been responding to EMS calls for the Village of Rockville Centre since 2008, and earlier this year, became the primary 911 EMS provider for the Village of Lake Success and the Port Authority at LaGuardia Airport.
In Rockville Centre, “Nassau 911” was the first-ever private-public EMS partnership on Long Island, offering ambulance and emergency medical services to local residents.
Working in tandem with the Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, the North Shore-LIJ CEMS has responded to more than 3,500 emergency (911) calls from the village and transported more than 2,900 ill or injured patients to local hospitals.
These public-private-partnerships are designed to preserve the traditions of the volunteer fire service, respect the practice of home-rule and result in substantial savings for Long Island taxpayers,” said Alan Schwalberg, vice president of emergency medical services for North Shore-LIJ.