Oswego Fire Department to continue ambulance services, despite rumors

Proposed budget would even add another full-service vehicle

Oswego, NY (WSYR-TV) - After getting mobbed with complaints that the City of Oswego is getting rid of its ambulance service, the Mayor and Fire Chief are speaking out, saying it's just not true.

"We've been providing fire-based ambulance transport longer than many in New York State," said Chief Randy Griffin, "I didn't want to alarm the citizens by what they read Friday morning, that suddenly after close to a century or more of providing ambulance service, the Fire Department is out of the ambulance business."

In a letter to his department, the Chief explained that ambulance revenues were not factored into the city's 2018 budget proposal because they fluctuate too much each year.

But even if the Mayor's plan passes, Mayor Billy Barlow says the services will be the same next year as they are this year.

In fact, he hopes to add to the fleet; the Mayor wants to buy a new ambulance to replace their truck that's used like an ambulance, with most of the equipment in the backseat.

With the resources they have now, Griffin's crew is sometimes forced to call for backup when patients need to go to Syracuse hospitals. A new full-service vehicle means they can make more trips on their own.

"An ambulance is coming back from Syracuse, it has to swim upstream past Phoenix and Fulton and Volney and Minetto to get to the City of Oswego, so for us to have our own capability to provide emergency transportation is critically important to our citizens," said Griffin.

The city will vote on the budget on the 28th.

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