White Plains, NY —  On Tuesday, the Board of Legislators unanimously approved a new agreement with the Westchester County Health Care Corporation, owner of the Westchester Medical Center, to provide ambulance services to five nearby facilities on the County's Valhalla campus, including the 149-bed Volunteers of America Grasslands Homeless Shelter.

The new arrangement will relieve stress on the local Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which has been providing ambulance services to the facilities since a prior agreement with the Medical Center expired years ago.

The County will pay $200,000 a year over five years for the new service. The money is a fully reimbursable Medicaid expense, so the contract comes at no net cost to County taxpayers.

Minority Leader Margaret Cunzio (C - Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville), who has been advocating for a new deal, said, " I'd like to thank Department of Social Services Commissioner Kevin McGuire, Deputy Commissioner John Befus and Department of Emergency Services EMS Chief Michael Volk for all their work to get us to this day. This is a wonderful solution for everyone. There were around 350 ambulance calls at the Valhalla campus last year.  The Valhalla Volunteer Corps, and Westchester EMS, have done amazing work responding to the need, but for a local volunteer corps, the number of calls to serve these facilities is challenging.  With two ambulances on site, Westchester Medical Center is in a unique position to respond to emergencies at the Valhalla campus, and do so with world-class speed."

The agreement renews a relationship for ambulance services with the Medical Center which had expired nearly a decade ago. The County has been searching for a new contractor so as not to overtax the local volunteer corps, but offers to date from other vendors had proven as much as four times more expensive.

The new deal covers ambulance services for the VOA Grasslands Homeless Shelter, the largest facility covered under the contract, as well as, the Children's Village Sanctuary Shelter, Woodfield Cottage detention center, and the TLP Training Center. It will also cover services at the VOA Valhalla residence, though at the moment that facility is unused.