A new report states that Ulster County's emergency medical services (EMS) are at a "crossroads" and provided various options for the county to follow to make things better for its residents.

Back in 2021 former Ulster County Executive and now Congressman Pat Ryan initiated a study to look at the current state of EMS and ambulance service delivery in Ulster County. The study was initiated to try and identify all of the challenges the County’s EMS providers are facing and hoped to come up with a range of options for the County and its stakeholders to consider for future EMS and ambulance service sustainability according to the County's website.

Ulster County EMS Report
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Ulster County's EMS Services Delivery Report

The study was prepared by the Center for Public Safety Management, LLC, and examined data from 43 EMS service providers in Ulster County including 21 ambulance agencies and 22 first response agencies to "identify gaps in service" and to determine what changes could be made to enhance and help all area EMS service providers. The study showed that 6 of the 17 ambulance agencies are responding to less than 70% of their calls, leading to numerous problems.

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Problems include inadequate coverage in their primary response area, and substantial delays in ambulance responses, which places a significant burden on other ambulance agencies and their personnel, it also leaves the primary coverage area of the agency providing mutual aid uncovered according to the report. The six agencies mentioned in the report include Gardiner, Hurley, West Hurley, Modena, Shawangunk Valley fire departments, and Pine Bush Ambulance. Each of the agencies is entirely staffed by volunteers, which could be part of the issues due in large part to the EMS personnel shortage currently happening across the country.

Ulster County, New York Map
Google Maps/Canva

Ulster County Needs Reliable EMS Services

The report pointed out several potential options that would ensure reliable EMS services across the County. The first option was "Option 1: Maintain Status Quo" which was not recommended by the report. Option 2 would provide a financial subsidy to existing agencies that would pay personnel for select calls and circumstances. The report detailed other options that you can see online here.


Emergency Medical Services Need to be an Essential Service in New York

Current Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger posted the report online at a key moment as the Governor and Legislature are ready to negotiate the 2025 State Budget, which includes legislation that would designate Emergency Medical Services as an essential service, like fire and police according to the County's website. Metzger said,

"The County is committed to the goal of achieving sufficient service Countywide and supporting our dedicated EMS practitioners, and we urge the Legislature to make the necessary changes in State law to designate EMS as an essential service. This is a public health and safety issue, bottom line."

Former Pizza Hut Locations in the Hudson Valley, New York

These locations were once a Pizza Hut restaurant.

Old Ulster County Farm on Tow Path

Some houses that have been left to ruin can seem impossible to restore but the home at 345 Tow Path Road still seems to have great bones. It is also in a great location if you are looking for open space and some Hudosn Valley history. You must take a look at Turner's Farm.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

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