HEMPSTEAD, NY -- The North Shore-LIJ Health System Center for Emergency Medical Services (CEMS) has announced it will begin providing emergency ambulance and medical transportation services to the Village of Hempstead.
The public-private partnership will free up police officers, allow for more police patrols and save taxpayers considerable funds in related overtime costs related to the 4,500-to-5,500 ambulance emergency calls that the village receives every year. “I would like to thank the Village Board of Trustees and North Shore-LIJ for reaching an agreement that will benefit all Hempstead Village residents,” said Mayor Wayne J. Hall. “This trial arrangement comes at no cost to the village and will give us an opportunity to weigh the benefits of a future EMT contract with the hospital. It will also eliminate the need for village police officers to act as ambulance drivers and ensure that they remain in Hempstead, where they belong.”
North Shore LIJ's Fourth EMS Partnership
The agreement with Hempstead is North Shore-LIJ's fourth contract with local municipalities to provide EMS services. North Shore-LIJ ambulances have been responding to EMS calls for the Village of Rockville Centre since 2008. More recently, North Shore-LIJ became the primary 911 EMS provider for the Village of Lake Success and the Port Authority at LaGuardia Airport.
“It’s been a win-win for all of us. We are very happy with the arrangement,” Rockville Centre Fire Chief John Bushing said of the fire department's partnership with North Shore-LIJ, which has saved the village more than $100,000 per year and strengthened the core of its emergency response services.
Partnership with Lake Success
In December 2011, North Shore LIJ’s CEMS also became the primary 911 EMS provider for the Village of Lake Success. Lake Success Mayor Ron Cooper said, “the change in primary ambulance service was prompted by the requirement of Nassau County that a Lake Success police officer needs to be available to drive the ambulance to the hospital since they only dispatch one EMT person with the ambulance.”
North Shore-LIJ sends two EMT personnel with every ambulance, Mayor Cooper said, relieving village police of this requirement and increasing police coverage in the village. “We believe this change in ambulance services benefits our village residents in several ways. In addition to increasing the productivity of our police in dealing with police matters, we were impressed with the response time of North Shore-LIJ's ambulances,” he said. “Since the health system has a number of facilities within the village and in neighboring communities, there are always ambulances in the area. North Shore will bring the patient to the hospital of his/her choice.”
LaGuardia Airport 911
Beginning on May 15, North Shore-LIJ became the primary 911 EMS provider at LaGuardia Airport. North Shore-LIJ ambulances will provide on-site emergency medical services at the LaGuardia Airport, respond to any and all 911 emergency medical calls, and transport patients to local hospitals.
“This is a unique partnership with the Port Authority that brings an innovative, team-based approach to provide a consistent EMS response to LaGuardia Airport,” said James Jackson, director of operations at the North Shore-LIJ CEMS.
Shortage of Volunteers
The shortage of volunteer fire, emergency and medical personnel, especially during daytime hours has become a national problem, prompting a growing number of municipalities to reach out to hospitals, medical centers and private companies to provide life-savings EMS services. For example, an increasing number of local fire districts have been forced to hire non-volunteer workers in order to have sufficient personnel to respond to fire and EMS runs in their communities. This is especially evident during the daytime, when volunteers are scarce.
“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 already beleaguered Long Island taxpayers,” said Alan Schwalberg, vice president of emergency medical services for North Shore-LIJ.
For more information about North Shore-LIJ's Center for EMS 911 response services, call 516-719-5036.