As a village, Edgemont will have the same or better medical emergency services compared to what we receives now as part of unincorporated Greenburgh. Under no circumstances would Edgemont residents not have access to a high level of emergency medical care.
Medical emergency services 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 (EMT) and only sometimes transport to a hospital.
ALS / AMbulance Equipment
Today, Edgemont receive ALS 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 is a Town-wide charge (to all six villages and the unincorporated section). Since 2009, the Town has acquired over $1 million of ambulance and other vehicles supporting ALS service for the benefit of residents Town-wide; debt service on the associated bonds has been serviced by the entire Town.
In addition, the ALS operating budget of $1.3 million includes salaries for a Paramedic Supervisor and ten Paramedics, all of which are funded by the Town-wide “A” budget and therefore are available to both the villages and the unincorporated area.
Edgemont’s access to Town 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 its 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; and 2) it would allow Edgemont Village to offer and receive mutual aid from neighboring ambulance providers, including Greenburgh, Ardsley, Scarsdale, and Yonkers.
Will there be additional taxes or fees 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 the associated debt service for those items, any EMTs/drivers, or any consumables expense. The budget impact of those costs (should they arise) is expected to be immaterial given the associated transportation revenue.
Thus, any additional costs for providing Ambulance and Ambulance Transport Service would likely be significantly offset by the ambulance transport fee revenue Edgemont residents currently pay to the Town. Should the usage and fees be lower than expected (which is a positive because it means Edgemont has fewer emergencies than expected), the overall projected village budget has over $1 million of additional surplus/cushion.