Ambulance corps getting ‘fired’ from Orange County municipality
Instead of thanks this National EMS week, an ambulance corps in Orange County is getting fired from the town and village it’s served for decades.
Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corps has helped save countless lives since it began in 1955.
But times are changing and the corps itself might not survive.
“Due to COVID and volunteerism down, we were struggling,” said Joseph Reardon, COVAC Chief of Operations.
The village and town of Cornwall released a joint statement Thursday, saying COVAC’s taxpayer funded services are being replaced by New Windsor Ambulance Corps due to management concerns and problems being seen statewide with relying on volunteers for essential services.
“We’ve taken steps,” said Reardon. “We’ve added the staffing on and we are now making calls.”
COVAC has paid drivers and EMTS as well as volunteers.
So does New Windsor Ambulance Corps, which is already contracted to provide advanced life support services for Cornwall residents.
A representative for New Windsor Ambulance Corps says their new role in the community will consolidate services and that management is looking forward to bringing on COVAC’s existing staff and volunteers – if they apply.
Cornwall is having a public meeting to finalize COVAC’s future on Thursday.
Members of the village and town will be able to comment before both boards cast their vote.
“The worst thing I had to do is send a message yesterday to my entire membership and employees saying as of right now, we don’t exist after July 1,” said Reardon.
Cornwall officials say the decision "wasn’t easy" and that the corps dedication to the community will never be forgotten.