Details of new Allegany County ambulance contract could be unknown for weeks

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BREAKING – EXCLUSIVE: It could be nearly a month – or even more – before Allegany County, NY, residents learn the effects of local ambulance services provided for under a new $600,000 county contract with a local provider which apparently went into effect yesterday.

The county Board of Legislators Public Safety and Ways and Means committees, as Allegany Hope Community News reported last night, approved Wednesday entering into a contract with Medical Transport Services of Scio to provide supplemental ambulance services in the county for a six months period at a rate which would equal $100,000 a month.

No details were provided about the contract, which also went into effect yesterday, despite it not being scheduled to be approved by the full Board until at least next Wednesday.

County Attorney Allison Carrow told committee members that a Memorandum of Explanation (MOE), required by Board rules, would be provided to Clerk of the Board Brenda Rigby Riehle after the meeting, since one hadn’t been given to legislators, who had voted on the recommendations after an unexpected hour-long closed door meeting supposedly called to discuss the history of a particular corporation.

Press release issued
Riehle issued a press release late yesterday afternoon from the office of County Administrator Carissa Knapp saying only that:

“The Allegany County Board of Legislators has committed itself to the improvement of emergency management services within Allegany County. Throughout the year, Allegany County has initiated several measures towards that goal, including establishing an EMS Advisory Board and securing an EMS Medical Director.

“As the County looks for ways to ensure the long-term future of EMS services within the County, it has become clear that our future depends on securing the ambulance services that augment the dedicated efforts of our volunteer agencies.

“Today, the County is taking a giant step forward in these efforts by collaborating with Medical Transport Services, Inc. (MTS), the primary private provider of EMS services in Allegany County, by entering into a contract with MTS while the parties enter discussions regarding the possibility of the County assuming ambulance operations.”

County Attorney’s Memorandum of Explanation
Allegany Hope requested a copy of Carrow’s MOE and was advised at 8:34AM today via email that it hadn’t yet been received by the Clerk of the Board.

At 9:46AM, again via email, Allegany Hope received a copy of the MOE, providing no additional basic information:

“The County Administrator and County Attorney request that the Board approve a resolution authorizing the Chairman of the Board of Legislators, on behalf of Allegany County, to enter into an Agreement with Medical Transport Service, Inc., (MTS) for supplemental emergency medical services in accordance with General Municipal Law § 122-b, subject to the review and approval of its terms and conditions by the County Attorney. The term of the Agreement shall be for a period not exceeding six months, commencing on October 5, 2022., and terminating on April 4, 2023. The County shall commit to transfer to MTS a sum not to exceed $600,000 subject to terms and conditions mutually agreed to by the parties.”

Freedom of Information Law request filed
Allegany Hope then filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the county, requesting:

“Any offer for services, proposal, or other written document or documents, including correspondence related thereto, between Medical Transport Services (MTS) of Scio, or representatives thereof, and Allegany County or any county representative, related to a motion presented at the Public Safety and/or Ways and Means Committees of the Board of Legislators on October 5, 2022, for county purchase of services from MTS.”

The request was made to attempt to determine what services were to be provided by MTS, where in the county, under what conditions and how it might impact Allegany County residents, including any costs to them.

Carrow subseqently replied, saying that although our request wasn’t being denied:

“Allegany County has forwarded your request to the various County departments that may have records responsive. Allegany County anticipates providing you an answer as to whether there are records responsive to your request no later than November 2, 2022.”
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