Date Archived/Topic

Winter 2001
bulletAnheuser-Busch Recognizes Public Safety Personnel:  The True Badges of Courage 
bulletAbandoned Infant Protection Act - Did you know that persons unable to care for their newborn infants can anonymously leave their baby with your ambulance corps or fire department?  The Saratoga EMS Council suggests you take a look at this New York State website and consider what action your organization will take if a child is brought to you.  Most departments plan to simply transport the infant to a local hospital for evaluation and placement.  Click here to view the Abandoned Infant Protection website.   
bulletEMD Changes effected April 2001 - Version 11.0 of the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) has been fully implemented in Saratoga County.  While the new cards contain the most comprehensive changes ever introduced, field providers will notice only a few differences.  These include addition of a new Echo level response determinant and implementation of an automatic helicopter standby protocol in Saratoga County.  Click here for the complete text of the new changes: EMS Dispatch Changes
bulletGovernor Signs Bill Extending Pilot Recert Program: On August 17, 2001, NY Governor George Patacki signed a bill extending the Pilot Recert Program for EMT's and AEMT's through July 1, 2006.  For information on the bill, click here: Pilot Recert Renewed.

Spring 2002

bulletNew York City Assistance - The outpouring of concern and willingness to help expressed by the Emergency Medical Services of Saratoga County is commendable.  The NYS Health Department has expressed their thanks to all of you for your efforts: DOH Letter.  For information on the Task Force operation and the Corps that participated in standing by, please click here: Task Force Schedule.   We join hands with all Americans and our many friends throughout the world to pay tribute to those who have lost or risk their own lives to save others.  If you would like to help honor our fallen EMS brothers and sisters, please join in sending an email to the Governor and our Legislators asking them to expedite the creation of an EMS Line of Duty Death Memorial.  This legislation has been defeated repeatedly for several years, and again stalled in the Legislature.  Click here: EMS Memorial Info
bulletAnthrax Response Advisories - DOH has issued Policy # 01-08 Unknown Dry Substance/Suspected Anthrax Response Advisory, as well as a Patient Fact Sheet (updated 10-26-01),  and Decon Information.  For your information, we have also included the Wadsworth Lab criteria for testing and the protocol for submitting samples.  Please note that it is the responsibility of the State Police to determine whether a sample meets the criteria for testing.  EMS, HazMat, and Fire are not generally called to respond to suspected anthrax threats.
bulletIn conjunction with the County Fire Coordinator and County EMS Coordinator, several Weapons of Mass Destruction training courses were offered starting in February 2002.  The courses were OFPC Courses for which participants also received REMO Continuing Education Credits.  There was no preregistration required and no charge for Saratoga County EMS and Fire Department members.  Click here for a complete list of WMD Courses.
bulletFDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen's letter of thanks to Saratoga County EMS for assistance with WTC coverage.
bulletHealth Dept. issues policy on Child Abuse Reports - Starting in February 2002, EMT's in New York State are required to report or cause a report to be made when they (acting in their professional or official capacity) have reason to believe that a child is abused or neglected.  The Bureau of EMS has issued a policy statement (#02-01) to help you comply with this new law.  The policy statement and attachments make an excellent training tool.  Read the text of the law here: Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse.  To assist Corps and Fire Departments in Policy development, Mike McEvoy (Saratoga County EMS Coordinator) has written 2 sample policies on Reporting of Child Abuse; one for Transporting Ambulance Services and one for Fire Department First Response Services:  (policies below reflect June 2002 revisions)
bulletReporting Suspected Child Abuse SOP - Ambulance [or click here for MS Word version]
bulletReporting Suspected Child Abuse SOP - BLSFR (First Response Services) [click here MS Word version]
bulletAttachment DSS-2221A.pdf (needed to accompany both of the above SOP's)
bulletTire Fire Scene in Waterford Standby Concluded - Round the clock ambulance coverage at the Mohawk Tire Recycling yard (abandoned) on Schoolhouse Lane next to the GE Silicones plant in Waterford was discontinued on 3-12-02 at 8:30 am.  The site burned from  Saturday (March 9) until Tuesday (March 12).  The Waterford Rescue Squad is extremely appreciative of all the agencies that provided mutual aid assistance to stand by at the scene.   Click here for a list of the crews who volunteered to assist: Tire Fire Stand By Coverage.  The Saratoga EMS Council presented an award to the dedicated members of the Waterford Rescue Squad for their excellence at the May 2nd meeting of the Squad.
bulletSherry Doubleday receives Governor's Award - Sherry Doubleday, Assistant Captain of General Schuyler Rescue Squad was one of 12 women selected for the "Capital Women Sustaining the American Spirit" award presented March 19th in a special ceremony at the Governor's Mansion in Albany.  "A member of the General Schuyler Rescue Squad for 17 years, Sherry has served as Assistant Captain for the past two years.  Her time and energy as an EMT have touched countless lives and inspired others to lend their talents to the organization.  Her efforts truly reflect the tradition of the brave, the proud, and the courageous women who exemplify excellence in EMS in New York State."  Congratulations to Sherry on this outstanding achievement!

Fall 2002

bulletKathy Barton honored for work at Ground Zero - Kathy Barton, Chairperson of the Saratoga County EMS Council and Deputy County EMS Coordinator was honored by NYS Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno as one of New York's Women of Distinction.  The award was made for Kathy's work with the USART Team at Ground Zero.  Click here for Senator Bruno's press release.  Congratulations to Kathy on this most excellent achievement!
bulletAdirondack Community College Offers Con-Ed Videos - ACC is offering copies of health-related video conferences at a cost of $5 shipping and handling per tape.  A list of tapes currently available is on the ACC ConEd website.
bulletEMT-Intermediate Course at Easton Greenwich  - Washington County EMS announced an EMT-I course starting September 3, 2002 at the Easton Greenwich Rescue Squad (Rte 29 in Greenwich).  The course will run Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Contact Mark Spiezio for further info by email at or by phone at (518) 677-3794.
bulletEMS Leadership Conference - Washington County will host an EMS Leadership Conference at the Washington County Municipal Center (383 Broadway in Fort Edward).  The conference opens at 5 pm Friday, September 13 and continues all day Saturday, September 14, 2002.  Brochures were mailed August 6th to all Saratoga County Ambulance Corps.  If you did not receive one, contact the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services at (518) 885-2232, email the Leadership Conference Coordinator at, or call (518) 677-3794 for further information.
bulletUnique MCI Drill to be held Sat. 9-28 in Saratoga -  All local ambulance agencies have been sent an invite by SEMS (Saratoga Emergency Medical Services) to participate in an MCI drill to kick off at 8:00 am from the SEMS station on West Avenue in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, September 28th.  This is a joint drill in conjunction with Saratoga Hospital and will involve a scenario never before tested in this area.  Additionally, new technology will be employed to assess infection control and effectiveness of PPE.  REMO has approved 3.0 CEU's for participants.  Location and incident details will be released the morning of the incident.  A critique and lunch will follow.  If you are able to send an ambulance and/or crew, please call SEMS at (518) 584-2109. 
bulletInterested in an EMT-Intermediate Course? - If a sufficient number of people are interested (that means 20-25 folks), REMO is willing to sponsor an EMT-I course in Saratoga County, most likely at Malta Ambulance Corps.  The course would start in mid to late September and test out in December.  The CIC would be Jim Bottillo and he's the man to contact if you or people from your agency are interested.  Drop Jim an email at and let him know your name, agency, and a phone number he can reach you at.  This course will be sponsored only if there is an adequate number of students! 
bulletVermont to host seminar at Stratton Mountain - Dennis Krebs, EMT-P, author of When Violence Erupts: A Survival Guide for Emergency Responders will present a one day seminar by the same title on October 19, 2002 from 8am - 5 PM at the Stratton Mountain Inn in Stratton, Vermont.  For details and a registration form: click here
bulletChild Abuse Reporting Update -Recent clarifications in Child Abuse EMT reporter obligations necessitated changes in our sample SOP’s.  The clarifications require an EMT with each agency involved in care of a suspected abused or neglected child to file a separate report.  Also, EMTs need only provide the information they have on the written report (form DSS-2221A).  Information on the report (submitted to the local DSS Child Protective Service) not available from EMS will be obtained by the local Department of Social Services.  You may download the revised SOPs here:
bulletReporting Suspected Child Abuse SOP - Ambulance [or click here for MS Word version]
bulletReporting Suspected Child Abuse SOP - BLSFR (First Response Services) [click here MS Word version]
bulletAttachment DSS-2221A.pdf (needed to accompany both of the above SOP's)


bulletIntermediate Course at Malta starts in January - REMO will run an EMT-Intermediate course at Malta Ambulance Corps starting January 6, 2003 and concluding in April.  The course will meet Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 - 10 pm.  Persons wishing to take this course must complete a 3 part entrance exam consisting of a written exam, oral exam, and complete practical skills exam.  For further info, email Jim Bottillo at or call REMO at 464-5097
bulletNYS: "Finger-sticks are not an EMT Skill" - In December 2001, County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy requested a determination from the NYS Health Dept. Bureau of EMS on whether a finger-stick for the purpose of blood glucose determination is within the scope of practice of an EMT-Basic in New York State.  The was prompted by conflicting information between the Bureau of EMS and another State Health Department agency: the Clinical Lab Evaluation Program at Wadsworth Center who issues registration numbers to ambulance corps (among other medical groups and offices) to perform laboratory testing.  In August 2002, McEvoy received a response from Ed Wronski, Director of the Bureau of EMS indicating that performing a finger-stick is not within the scope of practice of an EMT-Basic in New York.
bulletLooking for an exciting career? - The Albany Medical Center Cardio-Pulmonary Surgery ICU is looking for motivated emergency service personnel to work as cardiac patient care associates.  There are full and part time job openings, all shifts available with flexible scheduling.  36 or more hours per week eligible for full time benefits including health & dental insurance plus paid time off.  Call Susan Dillon at 262-3141 for more information.

Spring 2003

bulletCalling all Radio License Holders - Thousands of users throughout the country did not respond to the FCC's frequency audit, and so some 19,976 public safety frequencies could be placed back into the "assignable" category including many Saratoga County Fire, Police, Local Government and, yes EMS licenses.  To see a listing of non-responding agencies in the entire country,  Click here- Automated Frequency Coordination - APCO International.  To see an excel spreadsheet of just those non-responders in New York State, click here: NYS non-responders to FCC audit.
bulletAHA Instructors Records - Updates Needed - All American Heart Association Instructors are asked to complete a revised Instructor Information form and submit it to Kathy Barton.  The new AHA First Aid course will roll out in March/April this year and requires an instructor training session to be eligible to teach.  Contact Kathy Barton with any questions, information needs, or other concerns about CPR/First Aid Instructor issues.
bulletMutual Aid Dispatch Change Kicked In Jan. 1 - The EMS Council lowered the ambulance mutual aid "roll over" point from 12 minutes to 10 minutes, effective January 1, 2003.  To see the informational letter on this change from EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy, click here.
bulletRadio Procedures Manual Updated - The Saratoga County EMS Radio Procedures Manual was updated in December 2002 (revising the May 1993 edition).  Single copies were mailed to all EMS agencies by the Office of Emergency Services.  Additional copies may be downloaded by clicking on the Downloads button at the top of this page.
bulletCPR Instructor Updates Scheduled - Two updates for Saratoga County AHA CPR Instructors have been scheduled and one more will likely be announced shortly.  All currently certified instructors should attend one of the following sessions:
bulletApril 22 (Tues) - Stillwater Rescue Squad EMS Training Center 7-10 pm
bulletMay 22 (Thurs) - Wilton EMS 7-10 pm

Attendees must pre-register by email to Kathy Barton at  Purchase of a new Instructor Manual is also required prior to attending the update.  Instructor Manuals are available for $25 (item # 70-2563) from any of the following vendors:

Channing Bete 800-611-6083
Laerdal Medical 800-562-4242
Worldpoint ECC 800-322-8350
bulletQuality Improvement (QI) Section Debuts  - A Quality Improvement section has been added to our web site to provide information on QI activities in Saratoga County.  This section will allow interested parties to learn about QI activities in the County as well as check on their local Fire Department or Ambulance Corps participation in the New York State mandated QI program.  Click on the Quality Improvement button at the top of this page to see this new addition.
bulletUpdated Mutual Aid Manual Updated Again - Page 17 of the newly updated Mutual Aid Plan has been updated to reflect a reduction from three to two ambulances in General Schuyler Emergency Squad.  Users can download the revised page from the Downloads button at the top of this page. 
bulletMutual Aid Manual Updated - The Saratoga County Mutual Aid Plan was updated in January 2003 (revising the September 1995 edition).  Single copies were mailed to all EMS agencies by the Office of Emergency Services.  Additional Copies may be downloaded by clicking on the Downloads button at the top of this page.

Summer 2003

bulletImportant Infection Control Information for EMS Providers - For the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued an EMS specific guideline for infection control practice.  The guideline relates to dealing with suspected Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) patients.  SARS is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe.  The illness usually begins with a fever (>100.4 º F) and appears to be spread through droplet transmission; namely, when someone sick with SARS coughs or sneezes droplets into the air and someone else breathes them in.  Cases of SARS continue to be reported primarily among people who have had direct close contact with an infected person and health care workers who did not use infection control procedures while caring for a SARS patient.  There are specific steps EMS providers should take with all potentially infectious patients, especially with the appearance of SARS, even though in the United States, there is no indication of community transmission at this time.  Specifics and up to the minute information is available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) SARS website at:  Based on the CDC information, and in conjunction with other EMS groups, the NYS Dept. of Health Bureau of EMS issued an Important Advisory and Update (click here for the DOH Advisory) regarding SARS on April 18, 2003.  All EMS providers should read this update.  Saratoga County EMS and Public Health officials believe it is imperative that all EMS provider agencies implement two measures: (1) maintain a heightened alert for patients with fever and/or other signs of infectious disease (such as rash), immediately taking appropriate infection control precautions when encountering such patients.  (2) equip all vehicles that respond to EMS calls with gloves, eye protection, isolation gowns (or suits), N-95 (or higher) respirator masks, and a means to immediately sanitize EMS provider's hands in the field (such as a waterless hand sanitizer gel or wipes). A DOH recommendation on 911 caller screening for SARS has been carefully considered by Saratoga County EMS and Public Health officials in close consultation with colleagues in other Counties throughout New York as well as major 911 centers elsewhere in the US.  At this time, Saratoga County has decided not to implement 911 caller screening for SARS.
bulletGalway EMS Open House - You are cordially invited to join the members of Galway Ambulance to celebrate the opening of their new headquarters on Sunday, July 13th from 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM.  The new station is located at 2175 Galway Road) just down the road from their old quarters.  Download the invite by clicking here: Open House 
bulletAmbulance Traffic Trouble Scheduled for July  - The NYS DOT plans a 10 day closure of Route 7 Eastbound starting Friday, July 11th at 10:00 AM and ending Monday, July 21st at 6:00 AM.  This is significant for transports to Troy hospitals originating in Saratoga County as well as for the likely increased traffic that will be seen detouring through Waterford and Halfmoon.  For additional information and materials to post at your Corp, please click here for the DOT advisory site
bulletFair EMS Help Needed - The Saratoga County Fair will run from Tuesday, July 15th through Sunday, July 20th, 2003.  Gates will be open from 11 AM until midnight each day and certified EMS providers are needed to staff the First Aid Station as well as cover special events.  Ambulances are also needed for 6 PM to midnight coverage each evening (click here for the ambulance coverage schedule).  Please contact Jeff Reisner at, phone 518-469-9392 or Stan DeLong at, phone 518-885-5381, ext 4152. 
bulletCon-Ed talk SARS set for July 31 - A presentation on SARS has been scheduled for July 31 at the Fire Training Center.  "SARS: What You Need To Know" will be presented by Brenda Naizby of NYS DOH on Thursday, July 31 from 7-9 PM at the Fire Training Center in Ballston Spa.  The talk is REMO approved for 2.0 hours of EMS Con-Ed.  All EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement personnel are invited.  Pre-registration is not required.  You can download the (MS Word) poster that was mailed to all departments by clicking here:   SARS poster 

Fall 2003

bulletSaratoga EMS Mourns Loss of Joe Mushinski - Joseph M. Mushinski Jr., 46, friend, colleague, and brother paramedic, died Tuesday, August 12th in Pennsylvania.  Joe previously worked at Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance, Malta Ambulance, and SEMS.  He will be missed by his many friends in Saratoga County.  Click here for Joe's obituary. 
bulletReisner and Smith Recognized by REMO - Jeff Reisner of the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department was recognized as Communications Specialist of the year (see photo below) and Frank Smith of Northside Fire and Saratoga County's EMS Training Staff was recognized as EMS Instructor of the year.  The awards were presented at a special ceremony on September 22, 2003 at REMO, a coordinating body serving the six county region of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga.  Congratulations to these Saratoga County EMS providers of excellence for being singled out for recognition in a regional area serving 860,000 people!
bulletICS Basic Course - Kingston - SEMO notified Saratoga County that they will be conducting an ICS Basic (I-200) course in Kingston on December 4th and 5th.  There is no fee for the course.  Lodging and transportation are the responsibility of the participant.  Details are available on the SEMO website (click here).  Registration can be done on line as well at 

Spring 2004

bulletCouncil Recognized by American Heart Association - The American Heart Association in January presented Saratoga County EMS Council with a Community Training Center award in recognition of outstanding performance,  leadership, and professionalism in advancing the mission of the American Heart Association (AHA) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).  Council Chairperson Kathy Barton accepted the award with Frank Smith, who leads Council Instructors in number of students and classes taught.  Frank, in case you don't remember,  was recognized as EMS Instructor of the year by REMO last September, largely due to his efforts in Saratoga County.  Frank's community training record is closely followed by fellow instructors Jack Peroha and Andy Olmsted.  Kathy Barton is the administrator of the first aid and CPR training programs run by the Council.  Congratulations to all of our Instructors for a job well done!
bulletFCC to Cancel Some Saratoga County EMS/Fire Radio Licenses - The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has been conducting an audit of operational status of Private Land Mobile Radio stations.  The audit includes public safety radio licenses operating below 800 MHz.  The FCC announced on March 2, 2004 that it will proceed with the cancellation of licensees who have not responded to the audit.   Public safety agencies that face loss of their FCC license fall into two categories, undeliverable and non-responsive.  If the FCC audit letter was undeliverable, you have until March 27, 2004 to notify the FCC that your radio system is still in operation to avoid license cancellation. The FCC will begin a final round of audit mailings on Friday, February 27, 2004 , for those agencies that fall into the non-responsive category.  If a response to the latest audit letter is not received by the FCC by March 31, 2004 the license will cancel automatically.   To check the status of your department, click here to visit the FCC website. After accessing the page, you can follow two paths to determine the status of your license.  The first is a search by call sign.  Under ‘Process,’ click on the ‘search for your call sign(s)’ hypertext.  In the ‘License Audit Search’ area enter the call sign(s) for your radio system and click enter.  When the information is displayed click on ‘Licensee Name.’  If you have already responded to the audit you will see ‘Buildout Completed’ under ‘Response’ along with the date the FCC letter was sent and the date your agency replied.   No further action is required; your license is current.  If your search results in a listing of the ‘Licensee Name’ and a list of dates when letters were sent by the FCC you must act immediately to notify the FCC of your license status.  You can also search by state.  Scroll to the bottom of the Web page to ‘Audit Progress and Results.’  Click on the ‘List of Licensees who have not responded to the mailed audit letters.’   Scroll down to the ‘Nonresponses by State/Territory,’ find your state and then click on ‘public safety.’  You can review all public safety licenses in your state or territory that have not responded.  This listing will also tell you if your audit letter was undeliverable or your agency was non-responsive.  
bulletSVMC To Install DTMF Equipment - Southwestern Vermont Medical Center announced plans to install a DTMF decoder on their HEAR (Hospital Emergency Administrative Radio) receiver during Spring 2004.  The exact implementation date has not been set but Corps can begin programming their radios to open SVMC on frequency 155.340 using DTMF tones "017".  Medical Control physicians will continue to be available via the dedicated Med-Control landline at 802-447-5305 as in the past.  Questions can be addressed to SVMC EMS Coordinator Chris Phelps at 802-447-5637. 
bulletOSC Issues Wireless 911 Audit Report - The Office of the State Comptroller on February 18th, 2004, issued an audit report on the status of surcharge monies for wireless 911 systems in New York.  View the report on the OSC site at:
bulletDon't Become A Statistic - attend Highway Street Survival! - Kevin Leonard, a popular speaker on emergency driving will present, "Highway Street Survival" on Thursday, May 6th, 2004 at the Fire Training Center in Ballston Spa from 6:30 to 9:30 PM.  This 3 hour classroom session is designed to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities among emergency responders who operate at roadway scenes.  Topics include vehicle placement, use of cones, flares, lighting, protective clothing, as well as the newest information on responder safety.  REMO credit for 2 hours preparatory and 1 hour operations will be awarded to attendees.  A light dinner will be served.  Preregistration is requested by calling County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy at 383-8608.  Click here for a course flyer.  
bulletFEMA  Releases HSAS Guide for Fire and EMS Services - Have you ever wondered what actions your department should undertake in response to changes in the Federal Homeland Security Threat Conditions?  In January 2004, FEMA published a Guide for Fire and EMS Services on actions suggested in response to each condition level of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS).  The entire guide is available for download by clicking here, or at the downloads section of this web site.
bulletFCC Plans Email Notice of Radio License Expiration - The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced it will begin sending e-mail license expiration notifications to public safety entities effective April 16th, 2004. The e-mails will be sent at intervals of 90, 60, 30 and 10 days prior to the license expiration date. Once a renewal application has been received, the e-mails will stop being sent. The FCC will continue to send a written renewal letter 90 days before expiration, and--if you're completely in a trance--the FCC staff will make a telephone notification between one and 9 days before expiration. You should make sure that your e-mail and telephone number are correct in the FCC's Universal Licensing System-- that's the information they'll use to make contact with you. Surf to and click on "Online Filing," then login and select the "Update Licenses" link from the left hand navigation menu. 
bulletNew MAP (Mutual Aid Plan) for Wilton - Effective at 8:00 AM on March 31, a revised MAP will take effect for Wilton Emergency Squad.  You can download the revised page #21 for your MAP Manual by clicking on the Downloads button at the top of this page.

Summer 2004

bulletCounty EMS & Fire Radio Planned System Shut Down - On Tuesday, July 6th, at 7:00 PM, the County Fire and EMS radio system will be taken off the air for about 20 minutes to allow tie-in of the now completed fully redundant back-up communications center off site from the Sheriff's Department.  All agencies are asked to provide an phone contact during this time and either staff their stations or assume dispatching themselves.  Full details are available in a letter sent to all agencies that you can see by clicking here
bulletStandard ALS Intercept Agreement Open Comment Period - The EMS Council formally initiated an open comment period on a proposed Standard ALS Intercept Agreement, beginning April 12th, 2004.  Several copies of an information package are being mailed to all ambulance agencies in the County  and can be downloaded by clicking here.  Comments are due back to the Council by Friday, July 16th and can be made by email (, snail mail, or fax to (518) 383-4915.
bulletFair Help Needed - Fair EMS Help Needed - The Saratoga County Fair will run from Tuesday, July 13th through Sunday, July 18th, 2004.  Gates will be open from 11 AM until midnight each day and certified EMS providers are needed to staff the First Aid Station as well as cover special events.  Ambulances are also needed for 6 PM to midnight coverage each evening.  For more information, please contact Jeff Reisner at, phone 518-470-7964 or Stan DeLong at, phone 518-885-5381, ext 4152 or 518-8582-1090. 
bulletWatch Your Manners - Almost like deja vu, the issue of radio manners has reared its ugly head once again.  Changes to the County Radio Procedures Manual are forthcoming to incorporate new changes, but County EMS Radio users are encouraged to review the Radio Etiquette memo issued by County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy in February 2002.  An added point for consideration is an increasing trend of First Responders calling enroute to their station(s) which is unnecessary and recently has taken valuable air time from units responding to scenes.  Unless you are responding to the scene of a call, please refrain from tying up the air to call enroute.
bulletNew MAP (Mutual Aid Plan) for Malta - Effective at midnight on June 26th, a revised MAP will take effect for Malta Ambulance Corps.  You can download the revised page #13 for your MAP Manual by clicking on the Downloads button.
bulletEmergency Response to Terrorism - EMS Course - Saratoga County Fire is offering the Emergency Response to Terrorism: Tactical Considerations for EMS starting Wednesday, Sept. 8th at Wilton Emergency Squad.  The course will run 4 consecutive Wednesday nights from 7-10 PM.  Preregistration is required by calling the Fire Coordinator at 884-4702.  Click here for the complete course announcement.
bulletTwo New EMS Deputy Coordinators Appointed - Saratoga County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy announced the appointment of two new EMS Deputy Coordinators, effective Friday, July 29th.  They are John Stewart of Saratoga Springs and Andre Delvaux of Moreau.  John is a firefighter/paramedic with Saratoga Springs Fire Department and is active in several Saratoga County ambulance agencies.  He brings over 22 years of EMS experience including 7 years as Division Manager for a commercial ambulance service in the Capital District.  Andre is a Registered Nurse and Captain of Moreau Emergency Squad.  He brings over 16 years of EMS experience including 10 years as Captain of Moreau.  Andre and John were chosen from 32 candidates who submitted resumes.  McEvoy noted that he is,  "honored to have John and Andre join the EMS Coordinator’s staff."  He asked EMS Leaders to join in welcoming them as they help to serve the EMS providers of Saratoga County.   A listing of all Coordinators and their email addresses is posted on the EMS Coordinator page of this website.   
Fall/Winter 2004
bulletCounty EMS Mutual Aid Plan Revised - effective October 12th, 2004 a revised MAP will take effect.  Changes developed with the input of numerous providers, administrators, physicians, and aeromedical experts were outlined in a letter mailed to all corps (click here for a copy of the letter) by County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy.  A quick overview of changes is available in a document accompanying McEvoy's letter (click here for a highlighted copy of changes).  The October 2004 revision of the MA Manual incorporates all changes made since the prior (January 2003) printing.  The entire Mutual Aid Manual can be downloaded by clicking here or using the downloads button at the top of this page.
bulletAHA CPR Instructor Course at Malta Ambulance - An American Heart CPR Instructor Course will be held at Malta Ambulance on January 11 (7-10pm), January 18 (7-10pm), and concluding January 29 (10am – 2pm).  Instructors from ARC and NSC who wish to cross over need only attend the Jan 11th session.  Cost will be $50.00 per student plus instructor manuals, which need to be obtained by each student individually (Heartsaver Instructor Manual Collection Order # 70-2303 includes all of the instructor manuals needed to teach American Heart Association Heartsaver courses. This shrink-wrapped package contains the following: Instructor's Manual: Basic Life Support,  Instructor's Manual: Heartsaver AED,  Instructor's Manual: Heartsaver First Aid - $50 which is $25 less than purchasing each book separately) available from either of the following suppliers: Laerdal, Channing Bete, or Worldpoint ECC  Crossover instructor candidates’ cost for this course will be $25.  This class is limited to 15 new Instructor students.  To register or inquire about the course email to 
bulletRadio Announcement Schedule Change - Effective immediately, Saratoga County EMS has increased the frequency of EMS Radio Announcements to 3 times daily at 08:15, 16:15, and 00:15 hours.  The nightly pager test will continue to be conducted at 18:00 hours when possible and will no longer include announcements.  This update to the EMS Radio Procedures Manual is available at the Downloads tab above or by clicking here.  This change is in response to a request by the EMS Council that information on hospital diversions be more frequently and consistently delivered to County EMS Providers.  An analysis of radio traffic indicates that the 18:00 hour is typically too busy for announcements to be conducted.  Separating announcements from the pager test will assure greater consistency in getting them read.  Changes to page 7 of the Radio Procedures Manual affect only items F and G on that page.

Spring/Summer 2005

bulletSignal 41 Begins February 25th - Effective 7:00 AM on February 25, 2005 Saratoga County Sheriff's Department will implement a 6 month trial of a multi-agency Paramedic Mutual Aid program involving Corinth, Moreau, Wilton, and General Schuyler.  For situations requiring either "Paramedic Assistance" or "Advanced Airway Management" (under a REMO approved trial program), a "Signal 41" will be activated on the EMS Dispatch frequency.  Response is limited to ALS personnel who have been issued pagers that activate with the Signal 41 tone following standard Saratoga County EMS Radio and Mutual Aid procedures.  Any questions regarding the Signal 41 trial should be referred to County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy.
bulletWMD First Responder Packs to be issued July 26th - As presented during the MCI Train the Trainer class and the last EMS Council meeting, WMD First Responder Escape Packs will be distributed by the County Fire Coordinator on Tuesday, July 26th at the Fire Training Center.  A brief inservice on use of the packs will be given to start at 7 PM.  Preregistration is required by calling the Fire Coordinator's Office at 884-4702.
bulletWaterford hosts Amtrak Emergency Awareness Session****** This class has been canceled *****Waterford Rescue Squad in conjunction with Amtrak, CDTA, and US Dept. of Homeland Security will host "Emergency Awareness for Amtrak Trains" con-ed on August 11, 2005 starting at 6:00 PM.  Class size is limited and preregistration is required by email to or calling 518-376-8606 (leave name, affiliation, and # attending).  Click here for an MS-Word Training Announcement.
bulletI-90 to Close Nights & Weekends 6/10 thru 8/27 - Interstate 90 between Exits 2 (Washington Ave) and 5 (Everett Rd) will be shut down for resurfacing during nights and weekends beginning June 10th, 2005 and continuing through at least August 27th.  Both East and Westward directions are scheduled for closure at different times.  This will affect Albany bound ambulances coming off of the Northway.  For a brochure on the closings click here.
bulletEMS Leaders encouraged to subscribe to Listserv - EMS Leaders in Saratoga County are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the confidential Alerts Listserv started in November 2004 by the EMS Council.  The Alerts Listserv will be used exclusively to disseminate confidential information in the event of a Regional, Statewide, or National emergency involving emergency services or public health.  "There presently is no other means of quickly and privately distributing confidential information to EMS agency leaders in Saratoga County.  I appreciate the Council putting this communication link into place for our use," said Saratoga County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy .  Available under the Subscribe button at the top of this page are an EMS News Listserv, a Courses Listserv, and a confidential Alerts Listserv for EMS Leaders.
bulletEMS History Exhibit to Open at NYS Museum - From November 20, 2004 through September 11, 2005, the NYS Museum will display an EMS history exhibit called, “Help Is Here.”  Fifteen historic ambulances dating from the end of the 19th century to present as well as uniforms and historic photographs will be shown.  The State Museum is open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day from 9:30 AM to 5 PM.  For further information, call 518-474-5877 or check their web site at:  Click here to download a poster on the exhibit for your agency bulletin board.
bulletPOSTPONED - Moreau Homeland Terrorism Seminar - The Moreau Emergency Squad one day Homeland Terrorism Seminar on Saturday, September 17th, 2005 at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls, NY has been postponed until 2006.  Registrants will be contacted by the seminar organizers.  A new date has not been confirmed, but will include additional coverage of Natural Disasters as well.  Previously, the seminar was to kick off at 8 AM (registration & check-ins from 7-8 AM) and end at 5:30 PM.  Cost includes breaks, lunch, and a dinner reception with live entertainment at the Queensbury Hotel starting at 6 PM.  Participants will earn 7 hours of CME including 3 hours WMD required for NYS Pilot Program participants.  Speakers include internationally known names such as Dr. Paul Kim, FDNY Battalion Chief John Salka, Jr., NYC OEM Deputy Commissioner Edward Gabriel, and Paul Maniscalco. NOTE: Paul Maniscalco (listed on program) has been replaced with Attorney and Terrorism Expert Peter Beering.   Click here for a PDF brochure.  Email for questions and information is

Fall/Winter 2005


EMS and Fire Groups Highlight Radio Problems - In a press conference at the Clifton Park Firehouse on August 9th, representative of Saratoga County Fire and EMS organizations highlighted ongoing problems with the emergency radio communications in the County.  Clifton Park Fire Chief Art Hunsinger, Saratoga County Fire Advisory Board Chair John Mazur, and EMS Council Secretary Henry Propst told reporters that the present radio system is unreliable.  On August 10th, Fire Advisory Board Chair John Mazur and County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy addressed the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors at their monthly agenda meeting, bringing concerns from Fire and EMS agencies about the radio system.  Recognizing continued work by the Supervisors to build a new emergency radio system, Mazur and McEvoy recommended more immediate action be taken while development of a new system continues.  Immediate needs are to implement redundant paging using a method such as text messaging through alphanumeric pagers or cellular devices so that more than just the present system is used to alert responders.  Obtaining a radio engineering consultation on the current system to optimize performance and suggest components for upgrade or replacement to assure availability of parts or replacements when breakdowns occur was recommended.  Also, increased involvement of Fire and EMS leaders in radio system planning and implementation was recommended.  For a copy of the EMS talking points developed between the EMS Council and Fire Advisory Board, click here.  



First Responder Escape Pack Training Aids Posted - Two PowerPoint presentations have been posted to the Downloads section of the Council website for agency level use in demonstration and orientation to the WMD backpacks and Scott SCRAM escape hoods distributed on Tuesday, July 26th at the Fire Training Center.  Both the WMD Backpack presentation and the SCRAM presentation are available at the downloads button at the top of this page or by clicking here.



Get with the NIMS - To allow responders at all levels to work together more effectively, the Federal Government mandated States and localities move towards NIMS (National Incident Management System) compliance starting this year (2005).  The first in a series of deadlines hits on October 1st, 2005 when anyone involved in response or incident management should have completed IS-700 (the NIMS Introductory Course).  The carrot attached to NIMS compliance is future WMD dollars that will only go to NIMS compliant municipalities.  Saratoga County directly benefits from WMD dollars in State MCI training and supplies, drills (which in the future should fund EMS agency staffing costs), the new Communications van just acquired by the County Sheriff's Dept., multiple public health initiatives including caches of bio and chemical antidotes and preparation for mass vaccination programs, as well as thousands of dollars in PPE soon to be distributed to departments that have requested it.  To assure that Saratoga County continues to work effectively with outside agencies and gets all available state and federal support, EMS providers are strongly encouraged to get with the NIMS!  Click here to learn more about NIMS.  Take the IS-700 course online at no cost by clicking here.

bulletREMO Honors County EMS Providers - The Regional Emergency Medical Organization honored Deputy EMS Coordinator Andre Delvaux, Certified Instructor Coordinator Joyce Eichorst, and the General Schuyler Emergency Squad at an awards ceremony on September 26th.  Delvaux was awarded the Harriet Weber Leadership Award, Eichorst the EMS Educator of Excellence, and General Schuyler awarded a certificate of appreciation recognizing their EMS contributions.  Awardees were selected from nominations submitted from the six county region of Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Columbia, Greene, and Rensselaer.  Congratulations!
bulletEichorst Named NYS 2005 EMS Educator of Excellence - Certified Instructor Coordinator Joyce Eichorst of Saratoga County has been selected by the New York State EMS Council as the 2005 EMS Educator of Excellence.  The award, to be presented at the NYS Vital Signs Conference Awards Banquet in Rochester on October 15th of this year, is chosen annually from nominations submitted by Regional Councils throughout the State.  The EMS Educator of Excellence is an individual who through outstanding teaching and educational coordination has maximally improved prehospital services at the local, county, regional, or state levels.  In the nomination submitted by the Saratoga County EMS Council, Eichorst was described as an outstanding EMS educator with an exceptional ability to cultivate a rich enthusiasm for EMS and a lifelong commitment to learning in her students.  Her dazzling presentations, comical personality, compassionate approach, and clearly expressed willingness to go the extra mile for her students have spread her extraordinary reputation throughout the region.  Eichorst is the first ever Saratoga County CIC to receive the prestigious State Council Award.  Congratulations Joyce! 
bulletNew MAP for Moreau - Effective at midnight on October 6, 2005, a revised Mutual Aid Plan (MAP) will take effect for Moreau Emergency Squad.  The revised plan replaces page 18 of the Saratoga County EMS Mutual Aid Plan dated October 2004.  Copies of the revised plan are available at the Downloads tab above or by clicking here.



Radio Survey - Your Input Needed! - NYSTEC, the firm hired by Saratoga County to evaluate the existing Emergency Services Radio System and make recommendations to improve reliability, provide redundancy, and restore signals to the level experienced some 8-10 years ago has issued a survey they would like completed by all Police, Fire, and EMS agencies.  The survey is due back by Tuesday, November 15th and can be downloaded by clicking here.  (To get this document on your computer, right click here and choose the "save target as" option)



Radio Consultant Meeting - December 1st - On Thursday December 1st, 2005 at 7 PM at the Fire Training Center, the County's Radio Engineering consultants (NYSTEC) would like to meet with one representative from each EMS and Fire agency in Saratoga County to solicit user feedback on the performance of the current emergency services radio system.  If you did not see the Nov. 21st mailing on this meeting from Ed Tremblay and Mike McEvoy, you can download a copy of the memo by clicking here.

bulletWMD Course added to Pilot Recert Program - The Pilot Refresher Course now in progress has added an Emergency Response to Terrorism session on Tuesday, December 6th from 7-11 PM at the Fire Training Center.  This course, which meets the mandatory WMD/Terrorism requirement for Pilot Refresher students at ALL levels (from EMT-Basic through Paramedic), is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) course offered in conjunction with DOH and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), instructed by George June, Supervisor for Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance.  Since costs will be covered by DOH, admission to this session is free to any certified provider who wishes to attend.  For a DOH brochure on this course, click here.  Preregistration for this session is not required.
bulletCountywide ALS Agreement Approved - The Countywide ALS Agreement was approved at the December 13, 2004 EMS Council meeting.  The final version of the Agreement will be mailed to all agencies shortly and can also be downloaded by clicking here.   For those interested in the history of the Agreement's development, the information package "full version" containing all questions and answers since the agreement was first opened for comment can be seen by clicking here.
bulletMoreau Seminar Rescheduled - The Homeland Terrorism Seminar in Moreau has been rescheduled for Saturday. March 18th, 2006 in Glens Falls.  Cost is $80 per person and includes full day seminar attendance, 7 CME hours, breaks, lunch, a dinner reception with live entertainment and more.  Click here to see the seminar brochure.

Spring 2006

bulletCPR Instructors: Additional Updates Scheduled - Two additional updates for Saratoga County AHA CPR Instructors have been scheduled.  All currently certified instructors should attend one of the following sessions in order to continue teaching after June 1st:
bulletApril 6 (Thurs) - Moreau Emergency Squad 6-10 pm
bulletApril 25 (Tues) - Wilton EMS 6-10 pm

There is a $20 fee to attend the update.  ) from any of the following vendors:

Channing Bete 800-611-6083
Laerdal Medical 800-562-4242
Worldpoint ECC 800-322-8350

Attendees must pre-register by email to Kathy Barton at Skills testing will be done on the new material.  Please bring a pocket mask to the update and a mannequin, if able.

bullet2006 EMS Memorial set for May 17th in Albany - DOH has announced that three EMS Providers who died in the line of duty during 2005 will be added to the NYS EMS Memorial Tree of Life in a service to be held on May 17th, 2006 at 11 am at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.  Any agency wishing to send Corps vehicles (ambulances or fly cars) to the service can register to do so with DOH by contacting Donna Gerard at 402-0996 ext 3.  Click here for a PDF flyer advertising the Memorial Service.  Agency members are encouraged to attend - no registration is required for individuals.
bulletGuidelines 2005 Released - The American Heart Association released the Guidelines 2005 on Tuesday, November 29th.  You can download an overview of the new Guidelines by clicking here for the most recent issue of Currents (the Heart Association CPR Newsletter - PDF format) or visiting the Heart Association site for links to more comprehensive reviews (click here).
bulletDOH Issues Memo on 2005 Guidelines - DOH Bureau Director Ed Wronski issued a memo to all agencies and providers outlining how the Bureau plans to incorporate CPR Guidelines 2005 into NYS Written Exams and protocols.  While local training and implementation is proceeding, it appears that it will take some time for DOH to incorporate the new changes into the exams.  You are encouraged to click here for a copy of Director Wronski's memo to share with your agency membership.
bulletOxygen Regulator Fires - NIOSH/FDA Notice - NIOSH and the FDA recently issued a joint notice describing potential for fire at oxygen regulator and cylinder valve interfaces resulting from incorrect use of seal gaskets.  Depending on how you fill your bottles (in house or through a commercial provider), this may well apply to your agency.  Click here for the complete notice.
bulletAmbulance Billing Income at Risk? - f you were the recent recipient of an email, fax, or snail mail letter headlined, "YOUR BILLING INCOME IS AT RISK," you might want to read a memo from Attorney Paul Gillan of the Albany firm Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde (  Paul is an EMT well known to Saratoga County providers and serves as legal counsel to many EMS and fire organizations.  His poignant explanation regarding the supposed threats to ambulance billing revenue are enlightening.  Click here for a PDF copy of Paul Gillan's memo.
bulletSaratoga County Fair EMS Call for Assistance - The Saratoga County Fair kicks off Tuesday, July 18th and will run through Sunday, July 23rd.  EMS staffing is needed from 9 am through midnight each day.  Annually, EMS providers donate countless hours to cover special events during evenings weekends and to staff the EMS clinic and response teams on site continuously each day.  All levels of providers from CFR through Paramedics are needed this year and ambulances are needed on site each evening from 6 pm through midnight.  Loans of equipment including portable O2 cylinders with regulators, non-wooden LBBs, and portable suction units are also needed.  Interested individuals and agencies are encouraged to contact either Jeff Reisner (phone 885-4587, email or Stan DeLong (phone 885-5381, ext 2201, email   An informational meeting will be held in early June for those interested in participating.  Consider having a great time while helping make the County Fair a safe event for your family and neighbors!   
bulletLaw Dogs Ride to Support NYSP Sat. Sept 9 - The Law Dogs Motorcycle Club will lead a motorcycle ride Saturday September 9, 2006 in support of two NYS Troopers ambushed in Western NY trying to locate and safely apprehend Ralph "Bucky" Phillips.  Trooper Joseph Longobardo of Ballston Spa died Sunday, September 3rd.  Trooper Donald Baker, Jr. of Clifton Park remains in serious condition.   The ride is intended to demonstrate concern for our brother and sister Law Enforcement Officers and disgust with those hindering apprehension of this CRIMINAL who is suspected in attempts to take the lives of three NYS Troopers to date.   All are invited to join the Law Dogs, whether on motorcycle, truck, car, plane, or bus.  Show YOUR support for the Troopers fighting for their lives as well as Law Enforcement Officers desperately searching to bring this fugitive to justice!  You need not be of any public safety affiliation to join this ride.    Donations will be accepted.  Please pass the word - we hope to have a large turn out.  Any questions, contact Stan De Long, Road Captain at   OESFIVE@AOL.COM.  Download the NYSP wanted poster for Phillips by clicking here. 
bulletEVOC Course Nov. 4 @ Gansevoort Fire - Retired NYSP Trooper Bob Faugh, a nationally known Emergency Driving Instructor will teach an EVOC Course the weekend of November 4, 2006 at the Gansevoort Fire Dept. (1870 Rte 32, Gansevoort NY 12831, just south of the intersection with Rte 50).  The classroom portion will run on Saturday, Nov 4 from 8 am until 4 pm and the driving portion will be scheduled in blocks on Sunday, Nov 5.  To register, email Bob Faugh at  Preregistration is required; there is no cost to take the class.  Contact Bob Faugh with questions either by email or by phone at 585-533-1892.  NOTE: Class location has been moved to South Glens Falls Fire Dept. Station # 2 (I-87 north to Exit 17N to Route 197 then head East for 3/4 mile).
bulletRadio System Update - Blue Wing, the consultant hired by Saratoga County to explore alternatives to the stalled radio system upgrade, gave a report to the Public Safety Committee at their June 2006 meeting.  Click here to view a Blue Wing PowerPoint presentation that explores the status of the current system and proposed plan for the future.

Winter 2006

bulletBurn Kit Distribution at December EMS Council Meeting - EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy plans to distribute Burn Kits provided by the New York State Department of Health at the December 11th meeting of the Saratoga County EMS Council.  One kit for each ambulance will be provided to each agency submitting a listing of NIMS training completed by their personnel (see NIMS information below).   A list of member names, job title, and NIMS course numbers completed can be emailed to McEvoy at or brought to the December 11th meeting at the Fire Training Center in Ballston Spa.
bulletFlu Vaccine Drill - Saratoga County Public Health and Saratoga Hospital will conduct a Pandemic Preparedness Drill at the Wilton Medical Arts (Staples Building) on Route 50 in Wilton Monday, December 18th from 2 pm until 7 pm.  To test Public Health ability to rapidly vaccinate a population, the County is offering flu vaccines to all Saratoga County EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement personnel at no cost.  Agencies and departments should call the hospital at 583-8436 or email to with a head count to assist in preparations for the drill.
bulletWMD, Geriatrics, Bariatrics added to Fall Courses   - Four additional sessions have been added to the EMT Core Pilot Refresher Program: Geriatrics on 11/28, and Bariatrics on 12/12.  In addition, Saratoga County EMS will host a 6-hour WMD Awareness Course (FEMA Course # AWR-160) taught by DOH on Tuesday, 12/5/06 and Thursday, 12/7/06 from 7-10 PM at the Saratoga County Fire Training Center (6010 County Farm Road, Ballston Spa NY 12020).  There is no cost to attend the WMD program and pre-registration is not required.  DOH approved pilot refresher credit will be awarded.  Further information can be obtained by calling the Course Coordinator, Joyce Eichorst at (518) 581-9409.    For additional information on the Core Pilot program schedule additions, click here.   
bulletEMT-Intermediate Course Scheduled at Wilton - REMO will conduct an EMT-I Original and Refresher course at the Wilton Emergency Squad starting February 12th and finishing June 21, 2007.  The course will run Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-10 PM.  Pre-registration is necessary - click here for course info and registration details.
bulletAPA Approves County Radio Design - An eight year struggle concluded November 9th, 2006 when the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) approved a revised Saratoga County design for an Emergency Services Radio System that will locate 5 radio towers within the Adirondack Park.  The towers within the park include Lake Luzerne in Warren County, Corinth High School, the Conklingville Dam, North Shore Road in Edinburg and Lakeview in Day.  In addition to current towers in Ballston Spa, Spruce Mountain, Halfmoon and Providence, radio sites will also be added at Jonsson Tower on the Skidmore College Campus or the nearby Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs.  The County will need to complete permitting with the FCC and plans to bid the system in Spring 2007 with construction to begin during summer.  
bulletMoreau Comical Stitches Benefit - Moreau EMS is planning their annual Comical Stitches fundraiser to be held Saturday, April 14th at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls.  Tickets are $15 per person.  Click here for a posting about the event.
bulletGONE - September NIMS Training Deadline for EMS Personnel - As announced last fall, EMS personnel had until this September (2006) to complete NIMS (National Incident Management System) training appropriate to their role in their agency.  First line personnel without supervisory duties should have completed IS 700, IS 800, and ICS 100.  Crew chiefs, middle management personnel, and field supervisors should also have completed ICS 200.  Managers, Chiefs, Captains, and other agency leaders should (by the end of 2007) also complete ICS 300 and ICS 400.  DOH Policy Statement # 06-05 outlines NIMS, sources of training (much of which is available as on-line self study programs) and DOH recommendations for getting your agency up to snuff on NIMS.  Click here for the PDF version of 06-05 or click here for the MS Word version of 06-05.  FEMA is unable to provide numbers of personnel having completed the various courses by county (go figure).  To assist the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services to stay abreast of County EMS agencies completion of NIMS training, agencies are asked to provide numbers of members who have completed each of the NIMS requirements to County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy (
bulletDOH Issues Revised AED/CPR Information - In an effort to resolve confusion over deadlines and transition issues to the 2005 AHA Resuscitation Guidelines, DOH issued 2 documents on January 19, 2007 clarifying the obligations of agencies and providers to get up to speed.  The first is a revised EMT-Basic Cardiac Arrest Protocol and the second a summary of Frequently Asked Questions.  Click on either or both titles to download them here.

Summer 2007

bulletSpecial Olympics Seeks EMS Volunteers - The 2007 Special Olympic New York Summer Games will be held at SUNY Albany June 14-16, 2007.  Volunteers are needed for a variety of events.  Click here for a copy of the Volunteer Recruitment letter, download a schedule of events with projected EMS needs, and click here for a volunteer application form.
bulletRun Info Fax Capability Coming - On April 1, 2007 (delayed until April 4, 2007), the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department plans to cut over to a new CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) program.  Of the many enhancements this will eventually provide, the first significant addition will be capability to fax times, numbers, and run info to agencies at the conclusion of each run.  Ultimately, it would be desirable for every service to be capable of receiving faxes from communications in order to reduce radio and telephone traffic.  If you presently have fax receipt capability accessible 24/7 to crews at your station and would like to receive a fax from communications summarizing each run at the time crews sign back into service, please provide the 7 digit fax number you would like to enroll to County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy at or call 383-8608.
bulletCounty Radio System Update - Director of Emergency Services Paul Lent and Hadley Supervisor Jeff Trottier (Chairman of Public Safety) attended a recent County Fire Officers meeting and presented an update on recent County radio system developments.  Paul discussed the following using a Power Point presentation which you can view or download by clicking here.  The key points of the presentation are: Spruce mountain site requires clean up of existing antennas and development of quarterly preventative maintenance program,  proposed taking ownership of an existing 58X70 building and 180 ft tower owned by National Grid to replace present tower.  Will need 14 new antennae with 2800 feet of new coax to minimize cutover time, structural capacity of new tower has been checked and proposed loading is okay, some necessary electrical work needed at site has been completed.  Existing low and high band paging planned to convert to digital paging system.  New CAD system is being installed and tested.  Blue Wing continues work with FCC for guidance on the new radio system.  A guestimate by Paul is 24 months until changing over to new pager/radio system.  Proposed radio system will need 13 towers - new sites and existing sites being investigated include Stillwater old radar base, Willard, Corinth HS, Bald Mountain, and Halfmoon.  Our old analog radio system will be replaced with a new microwave system.  A user count of 1000 was tabulated for mobile and portable units throughout the County.  The new radio system will use 700-800 MHz frequency very close to that used by Nextel with higher gain antennae.  Negotiations continue in pursuing necessary APA permits and easements as well as FCC licensing.  Inquiries have been received from cellular companies to consider co-lease. Costs for the new radio system are estimated at 11 to 15 million dollars.  What’s next:  technology test bed with phased implementation  to be completed in 24 to 36 months.  Remaining issues:  microwave system, statewide wireless network, FCC licenses, user input, detailed engineering to be completed.  Price of new high band digital pager presently about $450 and is only available from Motorola.
bulletSaratoga County Fair - Help Needed! - The 2007 Saratoga County Fair will run from Tuesday, July 17th through Sunday, July 22nd.  EMS volunteers, staffed ambulances, and equipment loans are needed.  EMS providers are being sought for coverage from 9 am until midnight each day; staffed ambulances are needed evenings from 6 pm until midnight; and loans of oxygen cylinders with flow meters are needed for the week.  Organizers plan a July informational meeting for any interested EMS personnel.  Please contact either Jeff Reisner (885-4587 or or Stan DeLong (885-5381, ext 2201 or for more information.
bulletSaratoga Lake Rte 9P Bridge Project Hearing Scheduled - The Draft Design Report for the Route 9P over Saratoga Lake Outlet Bridge Project is currently available for review.  In addition, a Public Hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 2007 at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.  An Open House will begin at 5:30 pm with Department representatives available to answer questions followed by the Hearing at 6:30 pm.  Click here to view/download the hearing notice for additional details or visit the project website at If you have any questions, feel free to contact Erica Gundrum, Project Manager, at (518) 388-0225.
bulletCPHM to Sponsor Captain Al Haynes - Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance has booked the internationally acclaimed speaker Captain Al Haynes on Wednesday, September 5th from 7-9 pm at Waterford-Halfmoon High School (125 Middletown Rd, Waterford NY 12188).  Attendees are eligible for 2 REMO CEUs.    Capt. Haynes piloted United Airlines flight 232 when it crashed in Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 in a spectacular ball of flames.  You are invited to listen to Capt. Haynes explain how five factors came together to save 184 lives from what appeared to be certain doom.  Audiences leave this presentation empowered to save many more lives by applying this valuable information to situations they encounter.  The program is open to anyone who wishes to attend.  Preregistration is not required and there is no charge to attend.  Click here for a poster advertising the presentation.  For additional information on Captain Haynes, click here.
bulletWMD Training to be offered (Pilot Refresher Requirement) -Two sessions of NYS and FEMA approved WMD training will be offered as a component of the Pilot Refresher Core Content Program being held at the Fire Training Center.  The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 6, 2007 both from 7 - 10 pm.  The instructor will be Chief George June of CPHM.  Preregistration is not required and there is no charge to attend either session.  Attendance at both sessions is required to receive a FEMA course completion certificate which also fulfills the DOH required 6 hours of WMD training for participants in the Pilot Refresher Program.

Winter 2007

bulletGot NIMS? - The Fire Coordinator's Office has announced two I-300 courses.  The first will run during January 2008 at West Crescent Fire and the second during February 2008 at Wilton Fire.  Click here for the course announcement.
bulletMore Regional Airway Courses at CPHM  - Two additional REMO Regional Airway Courses will be held at Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance.  The first is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15th from 5:00 until 11:00 pm and the second on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.  Both sessions cover the entire REMO Regional Airway Course, Parts I and II and attendance at either session fulfills the Regional Airway requirement for ALS providers.  The program is open to both BLS and ALS providers and has been approved for a total of 6 hours of REMO CEU credit including 2.5 hours BLS and 3.5 hours ALS.  Preregistration is required by email to  Click here for a course flyer.
bulletCrew Confirmation Coming to Saratoga County - In a May 30th letter to all ambulance agencies, County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy announced plans to amend the Mutual Aid Plan to incorporate crew confirmation in compliance with a REMAC advisory on Agency Response Parameters.  McEvoy believes the REMAC advisory highlights a weakness in the present Saratoga County EMS Mutual Aid Plan.  Although agencies are able to comply with the directive under the present MA Plan, adding crew confirmation to the existing alerting system would assure that any response time gaps are covered automatically.  Click here for a copy of the memo mailed to all agencies.
bulletCall for Comments - Church St. Reconstruction @ Saratoga ED - The Creighton Manning Engineering firm unveiled plans for reconstruction of the Church and Myrtle Street intersection near the ED Entrance to Saratoga Hospital at the February EMS Council meeting.  They are soliciting feedback from EMS services regarding alternatives presently consisting of a roundabout or a new traffic signal with a left turn lane for traffic turning north on Myrtle towards the hospital.  From a traffic operations standpoint either option (signal or roundabout) would work equally well.  Roundabouts provide safety benefits and have been proven to reduce the number of injury and fatality accidents at intersections (see NYS DOT site:  A public information session on the project is scheduled for February 26th at rescheduled to Monday, March 10th at 7pm at Saratoga Springs City Hall in the Council Chambers.   Plans for the signal option can be viewed by clicking here.  Plans for the roundabout option can be viewed by clicking here.  A comment form can be downloaded by clicking here.  Questions or requests for additional information can be addressed to Project Engineer Steve Godlewski at
bulletCCT Course to start February 2008 in Ballston Lake - Ballston Lake Emergency Squad will sponsor a CCT course at their Station (Rte 146A in Ballston Lake) beginning in February 2008.  The course will run 6-10 PM on Monday and Wednesday nights starting February 20th and testing in November.  The Instructor will be Kevin Diggs (REMO).  Tuition is $1,200 payable at the start of the course (ALS agencies can voucher NYS for tuition reimbursement for students who complete the course and become certified).  If you are interested in taking the class, please contact Mike Nyhan from Ballston Lake at 399-6507 or by email to  Click here for a course announcement flyer.
bulletAHA CPR Instructor Updates Scheduled - A Saratoga County AHA Instructor Update has been scheduled for 2008.  All AHA Instructors must attend a 2008 update to remain on Saratoga County AHA Training faculty (CPR and First Aid Instructors).  Updates will be held March 27th at Malta Ambulance 7pm and April 3rd at Wilton EMS 7pm (faculty need only attend one).  Cost is $10.00 per instructor.  Please RSVP to
bulletImportant Radio Meeting - Ambulance Agencies - On Thursday, May 1st, a meeting to review upgrades and changes to the Saratoga County EMS Radio system will be held at the Fire Training Center, beginning at 7:00 PM.  All ambulance agencies are strongly encouraged to send at least one representative.  Any interested EMS providers are also welcome and encouraged to attend.  Click here for a posting announcing the meeting.  Upcoming plans by DOH to distribute Atropine autoinjector pens to all agencies will also be discussed.

Summer 2008

bulletComical Stitches returns to Moreau - Moreau Emergency Squad will once again sponsor "Comical Stitches", a stand up comedy show, to be held on Saturday May 24th (2008) at the Charles R. Wood Theater.  Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm.  Tickets are $15 each and benefit the Moreau Emergency Squad Building Expansion Project.  Click here to download a brochure for Comical Stitches or call 518-361-5196 for tickets.
bulletCPHM to host Family EMS Stress Workshop - Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance will host "EMS Stress & Your Family" on Saturday May 31st (2008) from 9 am - 1 pm followed by an afternoon BBQ.  Facilitators are Dr. Gerry Goldberg, Staff Psychologist at Toronto EMS and Kim Ankers from York University.  The program is for EMS providers and their spouses or significant others.  Childcare assistance is available.  Preregistration is required.  Click here to download a brochure with registration information and further details.
bulletAtropine Pen In-service Scheduled - A DOH Train the Trainer presentation on Atropine Auto-injectors pens will be held on Thursday, June 5th (2008) at the Fire Training Center from 7 - 9 PM.  A notice and registration form is on the way to every BLS and ALS Transport agency as well as each ALSFR service in Saratoga County (click here to read or download the notice and registration form).  Services wishing to participate should send their training officer and one other EMT to this training.  Auto-injectors will be issued to attendees at the session.  Participation is voluntary (as discussed at recent EMS Council and OES meetings) and pre-registration with DOH is required to attend.  Only DOH certified ambulance agencies (BLS and ALS) and certified ALS First Response services are eligible to participate.
bulletDOH Releases New Policy Statements - The NYS Bureau of EMS recently released 2 policy statements which will shortly be available on their website.  Click here for a copy of Policy Statement 08-02 Patient Confidentiality and click here for a copy of Policy Statement 08-03 Records Retention.
bulletCPHM Schedules ePCR Demos - Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance has scheduled a series of ePCR demonstrations at their station during June.  Click here to download the schedule and contact information.
bulletRadio System Update - The Office of Emergency Services released a series of notes detailing the progress on the County Emergency aaaaaaaaServices Radio system.  Click here to view the updates.
bulletREMO EMS Awards Ceremony Sept. 22 - Please join your EMS Colleagues for the REMO Annual EMS Awards Ceremony to be held at REMO (1653 Central Ave, Colonie 12205) on September 22nd starting at 6:00 PM.  Further details and a list of awardees can be found on the REMO website at
bulletAWR-160 WMD Awareness Program Openings - Dec. 2 & 4 - An AWR-160 WMD (Weapons Of Mass Destruction) Awareness-Level Training Course will be held Tuesday December 2nd (Part 1) and Thursday December 4th (Part 2) at the Fire Training Center.  Both sessions run from 7-10 PM.  The program is part of the EMT Pilot Core Content Refresher Program but is open to any person who wishes to attend.  AWR-160 is a six-hour program that provides emergency responders with awareness-level instruction on recognition, avoidance, isolation, and notification techniques in a WMD environment. The course covers prevention and deterrence and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) hazards.  CEU credits are available and there is no charge to attend.  To assure availability of sufficient course materials, preregistration is requested by email to

Winter 2008

bulletDraft Crew Confirmation Protocol Released - A draft amendment to the EMS Mutual Aid Plan that incorporates crew confirmation to comply with a REMAC advisory on Agency Response Parameters was presented at the February 11th EMS Council meeting.  Although agencies are able to comply with the directive under the present MA Plan, adding crew confirmation to the existing alerting system would assure that any response time gaps are covered automatically.  Implementation of the plan will not occur until upgrades to the Sheriff's Department Communications Center mapping system are in place to accommodate the changes.  Click here for a copy of the draft document.  Comments should be submitted to EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy.
bulletCorinth Fire tones to Simulcast on 925 - Effective November 16, 2008 Corinth Fire alerting tones will be simulcast on both Fire Control and EMS Dispatch (155.925).  This test precedes planned migration of all Fire paging onto the 155.925 frequency which has been pushed ahead into 2009.  Stay tuned for further details.
bulletAutism First Responders Conference - Senator Roy McDonald and the Saratoga County Council on Autism will hold an Autism First Responders Conference on Thursday, March 26th (2009) at the Comfort Inn Suites in Clifton Park from 9 am until 3 pm.  There is no cost to attend.  RSVP is needed by March 16th to Jennifer Ciulla at 885-2212 or to  This event has been approved for 6 hours of REMO CUE credits (additional category).  Click here for an invite/announcement.
bulletCorinth MAP revised - The Mutual Aid Plan for Corised and will take effect April 1, 2009.  Updated copies of the new MAP (page 10 of the Saratoga County EMS Mutual Aid Plan) are available for download by clicking here.

Fall 2009

bulletEMS Coordinator Issues Urgent Swine Flu Advisory - EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy issued an April 26th advisory to all Saratoga County EMS Agencies outlining key strategies for EMS agencies (including Fire Department first responders) to implement for protection of their members and public health partners in managing patient care. Dispatch level strategies have also been implements and are included in the outline.  Click here for a copy of the advisory.  We have also established a separate page with other documents we've been asked to share with you.  Click here to link to the Swine Flu Documents page.
bulletSaratoga Hospital EMS Recognition Evening - Saratoga Hospital's second annual EMS Recognition Evening will be hosted at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Resort on Thursday, October 8th.  RSVPs are required.  Click here for an invite.
bulletDispatch Change to Implement April 1 delayed until May 1 - In a memo to all Saratoga County EMS and Fire Services, EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy and Fire Coordinator Ed Tremblay outline two Radio Procedure Changes that will take effect April 1, 2009.  The first is a specific "manpower request" procedure that will assure timely and appropriate assistance by activating both EMS and Fire with automatic fire department mutual aid when no response is received after 5 minutes.  The second change is implementation of automatic EMS mutual aid for Priority 3 standbys at structure fire scenes when no response is received from the ambulance corps of jurisdiction.  The full memo can be downloaded by clicking here or by visiting the "downloads" tab above.  NOTE: Implementation has been delayed until May 1 by the Fire Service.
bulletFlu Vaccine PODs are a GO -

Saratoga County is offering both seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccinations to EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement members through our POD (Point Of Distribution) system.  Members (and high risk family members aged 19 or older) who registered to attend one of the PODs (registration closed Friday, November 6th) should attend:

bulletNovember 10th (Tues) - Moreau EMS (4-8 pm)
bulletNovember 17th (Tues) - Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance (4-8 pm)
bulletNovember 19th (Thurs) - Community Emergency Corps (Ballston Spa, 4-8 pm)

Here are some resources: Updated Question and Answer sheet about the PODs

Both live nasal spray seasonal vaccine and injectable (shot in the arm) inactivated seasonal flu vaccine will be available to emergency responders, both free of charge.  Click here for information on the nasal spray seasonal vaccine and click here for information on the attenuated injectable seasonal flu vaccine.  H1N1 vaccine is all injectable (shot in the arm)  click here for the information sheet about the H1N1 vaccine

bulletEMS Dispatch Migration Complete - The planned cut of EMS communications with Dispatch from the current 155.925 MHz to the EMS Ops 154.355 frequency has been completed.  We have contacted as many mutual aid agencies as possible to advise them of the need to modify their radios.  Click here for a copy of the notice distributed by the EMS Council on the cut over.  It would be helpful to review your radio inventory and also check with your MA agencies to assure that all equipment has been reprogrammed and is operational on the new frequencies.
bulletCouncil Rescinds Countywide ALS Intercept Agreement - Participants in the Countywide ALS Intercept Agreement initially effected in 2004 have been notified that the Saratoga County EMS Council will rescind the agreement effective June 1, 2009.  Originally effected to facilitate ALS Intercepts and payment between services for patient care, changes in Medicare and billing requirements have negated the effectiveness of the agreement.  Participants have been advised to obtain individual agreements with each agency they intercept with.  A sample agreement template based on the earlier Countywide agreement has been posted here and in the downloads section of the Council website for use by individual agencies.
bulletPager Bid Open to EMS Agencies - The County Fire Paging Initiative undertaken by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Services will provide replacement pagers for Saratoga County Fire Departments on the 155.925 paging frequency.  Migration of all EMS and Fire paging to this frequency is expected to begin in May 2009.  Talk back for EMS units in the field to EMS Dispatch will be migrated on an agency by agency basis to the EMS Ops frequency (154.355).  The contract awarded by the County to Motorola is open to EMS agencies who may wish to acquire additional pagers.  Pricing is highly competitive.  Details are on the OES web site which can be linked to by clicking here.  Ordering information is available through OES Director Paul Lent (email:
bullet Radio Project Information Meeting Scheduled - The Office of Emergency Services will hold an informational meeting on Thursday, February 4th, 2010 starting at 7:00 pm at the Hyatt located at Exit 12 and Rte 67 in Malta.  Representatives from each EMS agency are encouraged to attend to learn more about the final phase of the new radio project, see actual radio equipment, and learn about the timeline for completion of the new radio system for Saratoga County.  RSVPs are required to OES at (518) 885-2232.  Click here for a flyer with additional details about the meeting.

Fall 2010

bulletNightly EMS Pager Test Format Change - Effective July 7, 2010, the nightly (18:00) EMS pager test will be abbreviated to only four agencies: Providence, Edinburg, Stillwater, and General Schuyler.  This resulted from a survey of EMS Administrators and Chief Officers conducted last month, subsequently released for commentary by all Saratoga County EMS providers during June.  The change is being made because the majority of Corps receive enough pages during the course of each day to not require daily testing.  Contact EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy with any questions ( 
bulletNYS DOH Issues Updated Ryan White Exposure Guidance - DOH issued an advisory to Emergency Service Agencies on access to confidential HIV related information in cases of occupation exposures.  Click here for a copy of the advisory.
bulletAutomatic Mutual Aid Memo Issued - County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy issued a February 23rd memo reminding agencies of their obligation to keep Communications advised of crew status.  Many agencies have not complied with County and REMO policies requiring notification to EMS Dispatch when crews are not available to staff ambulances listed as in service for the agency.  Click here for a copy of the memo.

Spring 2011

bulletCongratulations Dr. Pomeroy! - Dr. Greer Pomeroy, who retired last year after serving over 40 years in various EMS leadership positions including more than 20 years tenure as Saratoga County EMS Medical Director, was honored October 14th at the REMO 2009 EMS Awards Ceremony held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Albany.  Dr. Pomeroy was named EMS Physician of Excellence for her many contributions in the Region.  Also recognized was Deb Kufs (EMS Educator of Excellence), Brian Sleurs (Communication Specialist of the Year), David DeRossi (RN of Excellence), Colonie EMS (Agency of the Year), and Columbia County EMS Coordinator PJ Keeler (EMS Leadership Award).  Kudos to all.
bulletWARNING: Older Pagers Not Compatible with New Alerting System Within the next few months, Saratoga County will go live with a simulcast EMS and Fire paging system on 155.925 MHz.  While designed to dramatically boost reception, the new system will operate under new FCC narrow band licensing requirements causing older pagers to no longer function.  All services are once again reminded to verify that all EMS and Fire pagers are narrowband capable prior to the end of 2010.  A simple rule of thumb for Motorola pagers is to look at the front of the pager.  Minitor V pagers are narrowband capable, all other models are NOT and will not work once the simulcast system goes live.  Additionally, the Saratoga County Motorola pager purchasing contract expires on 12/31/10.  Any agency needing to purchase replacements is strongly encouraged to take advantage of this rock-bottom pricing before the contract expires.

Spring 2012

bulletSpecial EMS Council Meeting March 19 A special meeting of the Saratoga County EMS Council will be held on Monday, March 19th for the purpose of voting on proposed bylaw changes that would change the meeting schedule of the Council from bimonthly to quarterly on the third Monday of March, June, September, and December as well as reduce the quorum to transact business to one officer and three members.  Click here for a marked up copy of the bylaws with proposed changes.
bulletEMS Admin Group Salutes SEMS Providers The Saratoga County EMS Administrators Council, a group representing the Administrators of the larger ambulance services in the County issued an open letter saluting the EMS professionals working for Saratoga Emergency Medical Services (SEMS).  On Friday, February 17th at 06:00 am, SEMS will cease operations.  Click here for a copy of the letter.

Fall 2012

bulletDispatch Protocol Change - In October, the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department switched to ProQA, a computerized version of the Medical Priority Dispatch cards used to process EMS calls.  This will allow implementation of several new dispatch protocols, some not previously available.  The first is Protocol 33, the Transfer/Interfacility/Palliative Care protocol.  Calls from medical facilities such as doctor's offices or nursing homes where the patient is being cared for by a nurse or physician will be processed using Card 33.  Patients not arresting or post-resuscitation who, in the opinion of the healthcare provider do not require a Priority One response, will now be dispatched as a Priority 2-Alpha response.  This change will more efficiently screen calls from medical facilities and significantly decrease inappropriate dispatch of first responders to healthcare locations.  Healthcare facilities have long requested that we accept their professional appraisal of the need for emergency versus non-emergency responses.  Now, we can.  It is important to advise crews of this change as there is a tendency to associate the response determinant (i.e., Alpha) with a non-acute patient.  Using Card 33, the only thing that an Alpha determinant tells you is that healthcare professionals are currently caring for the patient and do not require immediate assistance.  It in no way implies that the patient does not require ALS or extra manpower.  If you are unsure of what additional resources may be needed, please ask EMS Dispatch.  One of the caller questions elicits needs for special equipment (such as a bariatric stretcher or helicopter) and another question determines whether additional personnel (such as ALS providers) are necessary.  Please refer any questions to Mike McEvoy, EMS-1 at

Fall 2013

bulletRetirement Party for Kathy Peacock - EMS providers, Fire Personnel, and Law Enforcement personnel are all invited to celebrate the retirement of  Kathy Peacock, Saratoga County EMT Instructor Coordinator Extraordinaire, on Sunday, July 21 at the Malta Ambulance Corps from noon until 4:00 pm. Kathy is retiring after 33 years of dedicated service to Saratoga County EMS and you can bet she's happy! Please join us to honor this distinguished educator and pass the word along to your members, many of whom were likely Kathy's students. The EMS Council will provide food and beverages.  Click here for an invite.  No RSVP needed!
bulletChemical Assisted Suicide Responder Reference Released -The HazMat Fusion Center recently released a Chemical Assisted Suicide Responder Reference to aid emergency responders in recognizing and managing chemical suicides.  These incidents are happening with increasing frequency across the Country.  It is not a question of if, but when, we will see our first of these in Saratoga County.  Multiple occurrences throughout New York State have had serious health consequences for responders.  EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy strongly recommends that all services laminate this reference card and place one in each of their response vehicles.  Let's not lose an EMS provider for failing to keep abreast of the dangers we all face out there! 
bulletCyanokit Deployment for Fire Victims - Saratoga County has purchased ten Cyanokits and strategically deployed them around the County.  Cyanokits are an antidote for cyanide poisoning, thought to be the leading cause of death in fire victims.  Two kits each are presently available in Clifton Park-Halfmoon, Malta, Community, Wilton and Moreau.  Please consider calling one of these agencies for a Cyanokit for any arrested patient pulled out from a structure fire or for any firefighter who collapses in arrest during or after interior structural firefighting activities.  Our resuscitation rate for fire victims in Saratoga County is dismal - near zero.  A study using the Cyanokit over an 8 year period in Paris shows that we may be able to revive more than half of our fire scene victims with this new antidote.  If you have an arrest at a fire scene, please call for an agency with a Cyanokit.  For more information on Cyanokit, visit
bulletRadio Repair Requests Moved to On-Line Portal - The Office of Emergency Services announced that Radio Repair Requests for County owned mobiles and portables as well as agency owned equipment needing service by the County radio vendor (Pittsfield Communications) should be requested via a newly opened web portal at  For a copy of the announcement with additional details, click here. NOTE: the web address has been changed to

Fall 2015

bulletDispatch Change for Psychiatric/Violent/Suicide Calls - During the week of August 11, 2014, a dispatch of psychiatric/abnormal behavior and suicide attempt calls will change.  Initial dispatch of these calls will be at the Priority 3 response recommendation.  This means, for the first time ever, that responders will hear Priority 2 Alpha, Bravo and Delta dispatches.  This signifies that responders need to stage, according to individual agency policy for such, until advised that the scene is secure.  A couple additional caveats to be aware of:

Once the scene is secure, Communications will advise responding units. They will also upgrade the call to the response it would have been assigned initially had the scene been secure.


Keep in mind that, per policy, Priority 3 calls do not roll over into the Mutual Aid Plan. If you know your agency will not be able to respond to a Priority 3 dispatch, someone from your agency should request MA be activated. Once the call is upgraded (i.e., when the scene has been secured), the MA clock starts and the call will be processed using the usual MA timing.

Contact County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy with any questions or concerns.

bulletDispatch Change - Effective February 18th, 2015, there will be a gradual roll out of some changes in EMS Radio dispatch processes. The major change will be the routine assignment of a TAC channel to all EMS calls, in the same fashion as Fire calls are assigned a TAC. To improve interoperability, all updates on EMS calls will be provided exclusively on the assigned TAC. This means that, after calling enroute on EMS1, all units should switch to their assigned TAC and remain on the TAC until leaving the scene. The only exception would be if they need to reach EMS Dispatch, in which case, it is necessary to return to EMS1 (i.e., arrival on scene, departing for a hospital, clearing a scene in service, etc). Any communications between EMS units on scene or responding and/or fire units on scene or responding should occur on the assigned TAC. If EMS Dispatch is looking for units responding or on scene, they will switch to the assigned TAC to make contact.

There are multiple reasons for the change, the major one being the continued lack of interoperability between fire and EMS. Currently, updates are being given to EMS on one channel and Fire on another.  Both are asking Communications to relay messages rather than talking directly to the other. It is hoped that this will help to reduce redundant messages and get EMS and fire communicating with each other more directly (which is what the 800 system was designed to do). This will have a side benefit of allowing EMS first responders to contact their responding ambulance directly on the assigned TAC without being delayed by (or interrupting) other calls in progress on EMS1. Obviously, there will be bumps in the road as this rolls out. Contact EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy with questions or concerns.


Updating Unit Status - Effective June 1, 2015, all EMS agencies are asked to implement the IamResponding Vehicle Status Template for the purposes of posting their agency and unit status on the IaR system.  Implementation of this template will be on a trial basis for 3 to 4 months to determine if it serves the needs of EMS agencies and Desk Officers in the Saratoga County Sheriff's Communications Center better than the currently used "white board."  Please provide any feedback or comments to EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy.



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