Ambulance service set to close at the end of the month

RICHMONDVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One local ambulance service is now facing an emergency of its own that may cause it to end service at the end of the month.

The Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad has been in operation for nearly 40 years, but now is coming up short on funds.

For 38 years, the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad has served and saved the community.

“We figure we’ve answered over 5,000 calls. From birth to death to last Friday’s homecoming game,” Captain Ed Hillenbrand, of the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad, said.

Captain Hillenbrand says it takes a special kind of person to work in emergency services.

“It takes a lot to do that. Not just a big heart but also a mental attitude that they can help out,” Hillenbrand said.

And, it turns out, a lot of money.

It costs between $50,000 and $60,000 to keep operations up and running per year, and that’s at a bare minimum.

“We’re desperately trying to stay afloat. We’ve scheduled a shut down for the 31st of this month,” Scott Bennett, President of the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad, said.

President Scott Bennett says the squad is funded by donations and insurance reimbursements and lately that money just hasn’t been adding up.

“The recent changes in the health care system, the revenue from health care reimbursements has been cut just about in half,” Bennett said.

Bennett says the town has done its part to help find the funds. It’s handcuffed by the tax cap and there’s just not enough money, but the squad is still looking.

“If we received a grant from $15,000 we could make up the difference of what we need,” Bennett said.

“We’re open to just about anything that will keep the door open,” Hillenbrand said.

Hillenbrand says they don’t want to close their doors, but now the organization that has helped the community for so many years needs a little help itself.

“We’re working we’re trying, and hopefully somebody is able to come through,” Hillenbrand said.

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