Ed Downes of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Mary Ellen McGuire of the East Hampton Ambulance Association, representing the East End Responder Project, asked the board to support the creation of a special taxing district, encompassing all fire districts from Bridgehampton to Montauk, to allow the hiring of paid EMT workers to provide backup to the regular volunteer crews.
The board agreed to back the concept of the idea but held off on a formal approval until more information was available.
The plan has been in the works for the past couple of years and has been spurred by both the increase in calls local ambulance companies have been providing as well as their inability to attract a large pool of volunteers who are available at all hours.
The Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Springs, Amagansett, and Montauk fire districts have been discussing the creation of the special taxing district. The Southampton Fire District has already hired paid EMTs.