For Immediate Release Contact: Collin Nash or Sid Nathan
December 12, 2008 (516) 869 7794
Town Hosts Public Forum on Ambulance Feasibility Study
New Hyde Park, NY—With the discussion mounting about reforming Long Island’s multitude of special districts, Supervisor Jon Kaiman recently hosted a public forum to get feedback on a feasibility study being conducted to identify ways of enhancing service delivery and cost effectiveness of ambulance and emergency medical services in the town.
The study will be paid for by a $180,000 grant from the state. Presently, North Hempstead residents receive ambulance service from numerous groups, including fire districts and Nassau County.
“There is a great deal of discussion about how to provide municipal services,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman told about 100 attendees, a majority of them volunteer ambulance service providers, to the forum at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park.. “Our communities are looking to make sure we provide services in the most efficient and transparent way possible.”
Supervisor Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board established an inter-municipal committee in conjunction with the formation of the Office of Inter-municipal Coordination to facilitate the ambulance feasibility study.
The research firm conducting the study, the Center for Governmental Research of Rochester, New York, will ultimately make recommendations to the town board.
Comptroller Howard Weitzman has been leading a campaign to reform Nassau County’s more than 200 special districts. Citing widespread lack of oversight and accountability Weitzman has called for a review of special district’s structure, operations and budgets and consolidation where feasible.
North Hempstead’s ambulance feasibility study grant was administered under the Shared Municipal Services Incentives program. Established by New York State, the SMSI program is designed to help local government develop projects that will achieve savings through improved municipal efficiency, shared services, cooperative agreements, mergers, and consolidations.
The feasibility study will be launched with the creation of a working group of EMS and ambulance stakeholders which will include representatives from North Hempstead, incorporated villages and fire districts within the town, Nassau County and private hospitals in the area.
If the study, which is being conducted with input from Hofstra University, indicates that consolidation is appropriate, it will outline future steps to follow through, officials said.
A final report should be ready by the summer, officials said.
It is the intent of the town to document lessons learned from any ultimate consolidation and use the education gleaned to enhance future mergers within the town, Supervisor Kaiman said.