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Rotterdam EMS to rebid to serve the town following budget passing

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Updated: 11/13/2013 10:47 pm

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. - A budget passed in Rotterdam Wednesday means the Rotterdam Emergency Management Services company will have to reapply if it wants to continue to operate in the town it's served for decades.  

All town board members were in favor of opening up Rotterdam's Emergency Services to outside private companies.

"To save tax payer expenses it will be a continuing savings as we go into the future," explained Town Board Supervisor Harry Buffardi.

This means, the current Rotterdam Emergency Management Services company will have to rebid.

Dean Romano, a member of Rotterdam EMS told NEWS10 ABC "We're concerned that there won't be employment after the RFP (request for proposal)."

Forty-eight people work for the REMS, a private company that's been serving the town for 77 years.

 "We have done the research, we have run the numbers," explains Ramano, "We know the call volume we know the community."

Buffardi says the town could save upwards of $600,000 dollars a year.  A cost savings they say they can't turn down.

"It's certainly costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to do that service," explained Buffardi. And he thinks the service will only get better. "Certainly the residents will have an enhanced level if service," he continued, "and not be burdened by the tax of doing it."

Buffardi continued to tell NEWS10 ABC the system is flawed, with a 20 minute response time to calls.

But that is a claim REMS denies. "20 min response times being on a regular basis that's not realistic" said Dean. He says they hope the town board votes to keep the local jobs in Rotterdam.

"It keeps all the EMS jobs intact," says Ramano, "it keeps a local, town company in business."

The town will take bids until November 27th. On December 11th, bidders will make presentations to the Town Board and Executive Session for Board Members.  The board will then vote to reward the EMS bid to one of the applicants that night.

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