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County OKs emergency services billing agreement for Jamestown

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved of an agreement with the city of Jamestown regarding billing for emergency medical services.

On Wednesday, the full legislature unanimously agreed to a resolution for Advanced Life Support-Basic Life Support billing.

“I would like to thank everyone involved at both the county level and the city of Jamestown for making this agreement possible,” said Legislator Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown. “It was a very long process but in the end it’s a win-win for Jamestown, for county, but most importantly for the residents of the city of Jamestown.”

Nazzaro said the agreement will ensure city residents will have Advanced Life Support coverage for calls when Alstar and the city of Jamestown Ambulance is not available. “This enables both the city and the county to bill for the services and recognize the revenue streams in their respective budgets,” he added.

In committee meetings, officials noted the agreement is a 60-40 split, with the county getting 40% of ALS charges.

In an interview earlier this week with the OBSERVER, County Emergency Services Director John Griffith explained that Basic Life Support staff transport patients to a hospital for care while Advanced Life Support staff treats a patient at the scene of the location.

That’s needed when there isn’t enough time to transport an individual to an emergency room, like when an individual has a heart attack.

Nazzaro noted this agreement mirrors the agreement with the city of Dunkirk.

Legislator Lisa Vanstrom, R-West Ellicott, applauded the resolution. “This agreement is so critically important. I can’t tell you how pleased and happy I am to move it forward. I fully support this and appreciate everybody’s tireless hard work to pull it together,” she said.

The resolution will be sent to the county executive for his signature and then sent to the Jamestown City Council for final approval.

In committee meetings, Griffith said the money generated will be used to create a fourth ALS fly car unit to be housed in Lakewood in 2021.

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