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Governor Cuomo signs law that allows Utica to continue ambulance service

By ANDREW DONOVAN

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that will allow the City of Utica to keep their municipal ambulance service.

Years of court battles have ensured between New York State and Kunkel Ambulance, the private company that has served parts of Central New York for nearly 75 years.

For the city to operate their own, a certificate of need was needed. That certificate, usually issued by the State and Regional EMS Council, states that there is need in the specific region for additional emergency services. Kunkel feels that they are doing an adequate job and the state should not issue a certificate.

In the past State Sentor Joseph Griffo has said those councils favor private companies.

Assemblymember Brindisi said in the past that his legislation would allow municipalities and fire districts across the state to apply for permanent certification to operate local emergency ambulance services without proving public need as long as these services meet the appropriate training, staffing and equipment standards mandated by the state.

After a bill passed the State Senate and Assembly that depicted a certificate of need in both the Cities of Utica and Glens Falls, the last step was for Governor Cuomo to enact it into law.

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