Emergency Medical Services
What is Emergency Medical Services (EMS)?
Emergency medical services are dedicated to providing prehospital medical care, transport to definitive care, and other medical transport to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves.
All EMS in New York State is overseen by the State Bureau of EMS, a division of the State Department of Health. More information about the Bureau can be found on their website: www.health.ny.gov/nysdoh/ems/main.htm
EMS in Cattaraugus County, NY
Cattaraugus County EMS Coordinator - Robert Kuhn
Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services (CCOES) has oversight and coordination responsibilites for all EMS organizations within the county. There are 27 State-certified ambulance services and 6 State-certified first response services in Cattaraugus County. Just three of those 33 EMS services are paid agencies with full-time staffed stations. The remaining 30 are staffed with volunteer EMS providers, those volunteers respond to the majority of calls in the county.
CCOES also ensures the availability of adequately trained emergency responders and, as the basic life support New York State Course Sponor in the County, provides original and ongoing training for certified first responders (CFRs) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). This training allows for State-certified ambulance services to meet staffing regulations set forth in New York State Public Health Law.
As mentioned above, 30 of the 33 EMS services in Cattaraugus County are staffed with volunteer personnel. These volunteering professionals have other full-time employment and typically respond from home to calls for assistance 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Nearly all of these volunteer EMS services are only funded through association with a volunteer fire department and do not charge for their services. Some services have found themselves unable to meet the demands of State regulations without billing for service and have separated themselves from the volunteer fire service to create an independent organization, still staffed with volunteers.
All volunteer EMS services are in need of additional volunteers willing to train to be EMTs and respond to calls. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer EMT and serving your community, contact the Office of Emergency Services at (716) 938-2244 or stop at your local fire station and ask for more information.
Three organizations in Cattaraugus County offer paid careers in EMS. Two are associated with career fire departments - City of Olean and City of Salamanca Fire Departments. Those personnel are cross-trained to be both EMS and Firefighters. The third is what is known as a commercial ambulance service and provides only EMS and medical-related transportation, Trans Am Ambulance Services. City of Salamanca Fire Department and Trans Am Ambulance Services also provide "fly car" service to the County. A "fly car" is an EMS vehicle equiped with an advanced life support provider and associated equipment and medications to go out and meet with other ambulances and assist them with a higher level of care while transporting to the hospital.
Whether an EMT chooses to work in the volunteer or career setting, or both, they are always called upon to work with other EMS, firefighters, law enforcement, and specialized emergency response to get the job done. Working together to help others is what EMS is all about. Cattaraugus County is very proud of all our EMS providers and the services provided every day to save lives and keep our communities safe.
Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services
The primary goal and function of CCOES is to provide basic life support training and ongoing education to ensure highly trained certified first responders (CFRs) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are available to serve Cattaraugus County. In addition to this training we also coordinate CPR training for organizations and groups through the County.
Classes offered by CCOES include:
- Amercian Heart Association CPR and/ or First Aid
- Bloodborne Pathogens
For more information about EMS in Cattaraugus County, contact the Office of Emergency Services by calling (716) 938-2244.
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