Gowanda Ambulance looks to expand coverage area

HANOVER — The Gowanda ambulance has been seeing so much usage in the Hanover and Silver Creek areas lately that New York state has apparently decided it needs to officially expand its territory there.

The Hanover Town Board tabled authoring a letter of support for Gowanda Ambulance Service to expand their territory, which would then encompass the Brooks-TLC Health Systems Lake Shore Hospital Campus. The board cited their reasoning on grounds of gaining further clarification on the matter.

When the motion came before the board, Deputy Supervisor Louis Pelletter asked Town Clerk Janine Salzman to explain the crux of the letter Hanover received regarding the matter. “They’re going to be in the area, but they’re not going to be in the area that is already served by our ambulances?” Pelletter questioned.

In response to Pelletter’s question, Salzman read directly from the information she’d received. “Gowanda Ambulance Service has been actively serving Lake Shore Hospital campus for the past year,” she read. “In doing so, they’re transporting approximately 90 to 120 persons from the hospital per year. The level of activity has increased so much that the New York State Department of Health has made them aware that they should be obtaining operating authority for the hospital.”

Following the excerpt, Salzman added, “That’s what they’re after, the amount of transporting that they do out of Brooks TLC Health System.”

Councilman Bernard Feldmann Jr. then voiced some concern regarding how the change would affect local ambulance service. “My only concern would be is that something that would take anything away from Silver Creek Ambulance?”

The board meeting notes cite the specific area that would be acquired as: “That portion of the Town of Hanover, New York, which lies within the boundaries of Seneca Road, Southerland Road, Main Road and Bebee Road.”

To Feldmann, Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro replied, “You would have to inquire about that.”

Off that notion, Councilman Wayne Ashley added, “I guess I don’t understand, they bring someone into Lake Shore, and they need permission to operate there?”

Feldmann then clarified, “To transport them out of Lake Shore.”

To that, Ashley replied, “I would think most of the transports would be coming into Lake Shore, not going out.”

Sensing the need for further clarification, Feldmann then stated, “Why don’t we table this? Pending further discussion from Gowanda Ambulance and Silver Creek Ambulance.”

The board unanimously agreed and tabled the motion moving forward. However, Passafaro also noted, “You may wish to get clarification. There is such a thing as the state recognizing the area for operation.”