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Beacon plans to tap outside ambulance services, putting last volunteer corps on notice

The Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps answered 2,700 calls in 2020 alone.

News 12 Staff

Oct 11, 2021, 9:43 PM

Updated 979 days ago

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Dutchess County's lone volunteer ambulance corps is worried it could soon be history after operating for more than 60 years.
The Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps answered 2,700 calls in 2020 alone. However, Mayor Lee Kyriacou’s proposed 2022 operating budget includes $200,000 for an outside agency to provide 24/7 ambulance services to address volunteer service difficulties and heavily relying on other communities to help respond.
"I don't know if the city has taken into account that if they go with the lowest bidder, and they knock out an organization that has already been supplying the service. They're not solving the problem, they're just going to make it worse," says Antony Tseng, of the volunteer corps.
With eight paid staff members and 30 volunteers, the nonprofit ambulance corps acknowledges the challenges they've had responding, saying personnel shortages impede their efforts when too many calls come in at the same time.
They think an outside agency should supplement their calls.
"If they bring in one ambulance, which is what the initial plan was and we can't stay in business, the problem stays exactly the same,” says Andrew Diluvio, president and CEO of the ambulance corps. “When that one ambulance goes out on a call, what's going to happen to the next call? Where's that ambulance going to come?"
News 12 reached out to the City of Beacon for comment.


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