As a village, Edgemont will have the same or better medical emergency services compared to what we receive now as part of unincorporated Greenburgh. Under no circumstances would Edgemont residents not have access to a high level of emergency medical care.
Emergency medical services (EMS) in New York are generally classified as one of two types: (1) Advanced Life Support (ALS), requiring trained paramedics and typically transport to a hospital; or (2) Basic Life Support (BLS), requiring the attention of trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and only sometimes transport to a hospital.
ALS / AMbulance Equipment
Today, Edgemont receives advanced life support services from the Town of Greenburgh. That service, which is provided to the entire town (all six villages and the unincorporated section), will not change upon incorporation.
ALS service is part of the town-wide “A” budget and as such is funded by town-wide taxes. Since 2013, Greenburgh has acquired 7 ambulances and other equipment, including the pictured flycar, to support town-wide EMS services. Debt service on the associated bonds will be serviced by the entire town through their final maturity in 2013.
In addition, the ALS town-wide operating budget includes salaries for a paramedic supervisor and 10 civilian paramedics, as well as stipends for 8 police officers. Edgemont is currently taxes for all of these positions, which serve the villages and the unincorporated area.
Edgemont’s access to Greenburgh's ALS service, the highest level of emergency care, will not change upon incorporation.
BLS / Ambulance Transport
Today, Edgemont receives BLS services from both the Greenville Fire District (GFD) and the Greenburgh Police Department (GPD). The GFD’s 30+ staff members are all certified and trained EMT’s. The GPD has two civilian EMT professionals on staff and approximately 20 of of its police officers are EMTs.
When a medical emergency occurs in Edgemont, both agencies respond. The GFD is typically the first responder on the scene given that Edgemont is only two square miles, and the GFD is located on Central Avenue. The GPD also responds immediately, but its response time varies because the appropriately certified patrol officers may not be in Edgemont at the time the call is received.
Either GFD or GPD personnel with EMT certification can provide BLS services. When a BLS emergency requires a transport to a hospital, the GPD—as the local agency with “primacy”— calls for an ambulance. The ambulance itself (funded town-wide, as described above, and available to Edgemont regardless of incorporated status) travels from its home base on Route 119 in Greenburgh to the local Edgemont emergency pick up.
What happens to our BLS services if Edgemont incorporates and becomes a Village?
As a village, the Greenville Fire District will become the Edgemont Fire Department, but the department’s funding and services will essentially remain unchanged. The same BLS-trained and certified fire department personnel will be able to provide BLS emergency services.
What if a BLS emergency needs transport to a hospital?
If our village officials contract with the Town of Greenburgh for police services, then Edgemont will continue to receive BLS transport as it does now. In an emergency requiring BLS response, both the GFD and GPD will continue to respond with BLS-certified EMTs, and the GPD will provide any necessary transport.
If Edgemont and Greenburgh do not contract for police services, then the village will likely contract with the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, or establish a village police department. In either instance, we would expect the Edgemont Board of Trustees to move to purchase a village ambulance, most likely managed by the GFD. This would afford Edgemont two benefits: 1) more favorable response times, since the vehicle’s home base would be on village-owned property on Central Avenue rather than on Route 119; and 2) it would allow Edgemont Village to offer and receive mutual aid from neighboring ambulance providers, including Greenburgh, Ardsley, Scarsdale, and Yonkers.
The annual debt service cost of an ambulance is approximately $20,000.
Will there be additional costs to implement a Basic Life Support transportation plan through the village fire department?
Currently, the Town of Greenburgh bills only unincorporated residents for ambulance transports. The associated annual revenue is approximately $1.5 million.
If Edgemont incorporates and operates its own ambulance transport service, it could continue to bill Edgemont residents for ambulance trips at the same pricing we are charged today. Assuming Edgemont ambulance usage of Greenburgh services in proportion to its population, the annual ambulance transport revenue to the village would conservatively range from $250,000 to $300,000.
The feasibility study notes the potential expense of an ambulance and storage, but does not factor in the associated debt service for those items or any EMTs/drivers that may be required. The budget impact of those costs (should they arise) is expected to be offset by the associated transportation revenue.