Municipal transfer of rescue squad on track for 2022

Mayor Timothy J. Ahlfeld says the transfer of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town of Massena to the village is on track for the end of the year. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Mayor Timothy J. Ahlfeld says the transfer of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town of Massena to the village is on track for the end of the year.

He told trustees during Tuesday’s meeting that he, along with Village Administrator Monique Chatland, Massena Fire Department Foreman Aaron Hardy and Treasurer Kevin Felt had met with members of the Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit three times since the village board’s October meeting. They’ve also met three times with Massena Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy and former Councilor Robert Elsner prior to his resignation from the Town Council.

“The town of Massena confirmed to me on Monday that they are still very interested,” Mr. Ahlfeld said. “I’ve been in touch with our attorney, Matt McArdle. Our attorneys are ready and working on the approval process.”

He told trustees that 5 of 6 contracts have been traded and were being reviewed.

“They’re in various stages of progress,” he said.

Mr. Ahlfeld said he was still waiting for one initial contract regarding E5 Support Services and would forward that to the board members when it was received.

The rescue squad is primarily comprised of volunteers from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The building is staffed 24 hours a day with the help of E5 Support Services, who are there from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The rest of them are out for either concerns related for comments or comments have come back. So I have a high level of confidence that sometime in December this board will be able to move forward approving those contracts,” Mr. Ahlfeld said. “I can’t thank the team members enough for allowing me to talk about it every day. They’re very patient and they understand that I like deadlines.”

Mr. Ahlfeld and Mr. O’Shaughnessy had announced in September that the village would assume management of the Massena Rescue Squad from the town of Massena at the end of the year. The transfer is expected to take place at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.

They said discussions had been ongoing between the town and village for several months regarding the potential transfer of the rescue squad and its assets to the village, and that a “tremendous amount of work” had already been done by both parties behind the scenes.

The Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit currently contracts with the town to provide rescue squad services, and that contract will transfer to the village at the start of 2022. The town will pay bills that are generated up to Dec. 31, and the village will take over payment in January. The town will keep any resource recovery money generated by the rescue squad until the end of the year.

The transfer will place the village in management of three safety components with the Massena Rescue Squad, Massena Volunteer Fire Department and Massena Police Department.

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(1) comment

rrsdas2019

Although I don't have all the down and dirty details, as I read the article I don't think this transfer is legal as it has not been approved by North Country Regional EMS Council and New York State Department of Health at this time. Any ownership change has to be approved.

The author of this comment is a member of North Country Regional EMS Council and retired committee chair of the Certificate of Need.

Ronald R. Smith

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