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Brocton fire chief slams EMS calls for minor issues

BROCTON — Fire Chief Phil Gerace has a message to village residents: If you have a medical emergency, make sure it’s really an emergency.

“Families need to start taking care of families like they used to,” Gerace lamented while giving his monthly report at the Brocton Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday. “Some of the calls we get — ‘My ankle’s hurt for four days.’ You can’t get a family member to take you?”

Gerace said village emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have also recently responded to calls for stomachaches, ankle pain and wrist pain. People shouldn’t rely on EMS for relatively minor things like that, he said.

“You’re burning the fire department out,” he said of people who make such calls.

Glancing at the OBSERVER, Brocton Mayor Richard Frost told Gerace, “We can make an appeal, to only use the fire department in emergency situations.”

The Brocton Fire Department’s report for September shows they responded to 32 total calls. Eight were EMS calls in the village and seven were in the district the department services under contract.

There were five mutual aid calls, two each to Portland and Westfield and one to West Dunkirk.

One call was for a fire: a fan motor burnt out at the Star Apartments. There was one motor vehicle accident call, for a two-car crash at the “Four Corners” at the village’s center.

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