Debate over switching Hilton ambulance providers continues

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HILTON, N.Y. — The debate over switching ambulance providers in the Village of Hilton continues.

The Hilton Fire Department held an informational meeting and things got heated during public comment. This meeting in the firehouse was to help clear up confusion and let people know, first, what’s happening, what the options are and what they can expect, but it ended up in back and forth between the community, fire department and village leaders.

The Hilton Fire Department says it would cost taxpayers $250,000 for 2023 to keep the CHS ambulance service running. Questions erupted, not so much in anger but over concerns about what might happen to their current ambulance provider.

“So according to Shari, you can’t make an agreement by law but you’re giving a contract to Monroe for 2023?” one woman said who lives on Parma Town Line Road.

In response, Shari Pearce, the Village of Hilton Manager said, “This contract is ending and they need a subsidy in order to stay. The only way to get a tax subsidy is through the town and the village.”

The woman said back, “You’re only addressing it as if it was a tax. Why can’t we have a committee or fundraising? Let’s help them bridge the gap. They made the comment that they would stay if we made the incentive.”

Pearce said, “Yes, but it’s $250,000.”

Right now the fire department keeps an ALS ambulance, which is equipped to handle more urgent medical calls, located in the village at the Hilton fire station.

Members of the Hilton village board are considering contracting with Monroe Ambulance and getting rid of the service currently provided by CHS Mobile Integrated Healthcare.

The ambulance crew would stage or park in different parts of Monroe County between service calls. People at the meeting expressed that with more information they would be willing to help CHS stay put.

“We owe it to CHS to make sure that their deficits are taken care of, and maybe that’s where we start,” another Hilton resident said. “The citizens of the village and town are we willing to put forth the money to keep the ambulance in Parma and Hilton. I think it sounds to me that a good number of people are willing to do that.”

No deal has been finalized yet, and CHS will continue to provide ALS ambulance service until Dec. 31.
There is a Village board meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 1.