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Sleepy Hollow Trustees Look to Add Paid EMTs

Village board turns to agency temps as partial answer to shorthanded volunteer ambulance corps.

Some help for Sleepy Hollow’s short-handed ambulance corps could be coming soon, village officials suggest. How much help and how soon it will arrive remain up in the air.

But after a night in which the Board of Trustees formally supported the beleaguered corps in a number of ways, including the approval of three new volunteers, Mayor Ken Wray said the village has found money to pay for at least some emergency medical technicians to supplement the volunteers’ depleted roster.

Ambulance Corps Lts. Shelley Robinson and Sung Pak, citing tough staffing challenges facing the volunteer unit, appealed at the board’s Nov. 13 meeting for paid EMTs, round the clock.

That’s considered unlikely. “We’re midyear on the [current] budget,” Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said, “so anything we do now is unbudgeted.”

Establishing 24/7 coverage by paid EMTs, Giaccio estimates, would cost the village about $160,000 a year, none of which is in the 2012-13 budget, which runs through May. “We found money,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “We didn’t find all [the money needed for all] the ambulance corps is requesting.”

Still, Giaccio said of the trustees, “They’re seriously considering doing something.”

In the course of the public meeting, the board approved three new volunteers to the ambulance corps roster. The addition of Bethany Orifici and George Crowe of Sleepy Hollow and Jose Ojito of Ossining brings volunteer strength to about 20, though only about nine are fully certified EMTs, Giaccio said.

The board also accepted a $19,950 bid by Clean Air Co. Inc. (Fords, N.J.) to install an exhaust system in corps headquarters to safely vent vehicle fumes and authorized the hiring of a $600-a-month consultant to handle paperwork, including billing for calls.

The corps now realizes annual revenue from calls of some $120,000. And while that figure would likely rise with the increase in staffing, the administrator said, it would still fall short of covering all corps costs.

Adding another $60,000 for equipment and related expenses to the staffing fee, Giaccio said, pushes the ambulance corps cost to some $220,000.

The paid EMTs would not be village employees but temporary hires through an agency that specializes in that kind of staffing.

EMT hiring had been widely billed as a subject to be discussed in public at Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting. Instead, the entire business took place behind closed doors, apparently violating the state open-meetings law.

That decades-old statute requires local government to do the public’s business in public. It allows bodies like a village board to meet behind closed doors for only a handful of limited, tightly defined reasons, such as discussion of a specific employee’s medical or financial matters but not simply to consider “personnel” issues broadly. Such closed discussions, the state has long made clear, are permitted to protect personal privacy, not to shroud public policy.

Nevertheless, shortly after Tuesday’s meeting had disposed of some routine business, the mayor called for, and the board voted, to go into executive session to consider unspecified “personnel” issues. Sung Pak, an ambulance corps lieutenant on hand to discuss staffing, waited patiently in the public chamber for the board to return and take up the EMT matter.

But while the trustees were still beyond public view, either in the chamber or television audience, the mayor summoned Pak to join the closed-door session. Twelve minutes later, Wray and the trustees returned to the chamber; Pak did not.

After the regular meeting adjourned, in response to a reporter’s question, Wray insisted that Pak had been called to the back room only to be told that the EMT discussion would not take place that night as planned. Asked why that had to be done in secret rather than in the public session, Wray called it a “courtesy.”

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wanda February 23, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Hey Mr.Slivin Maybe if Trooper Robert Ambrose out of State Police Tarrytown was eating a Dunkin Donut and doing nothing he would still be with us today.But instead he was struck and killed by a drunk while assisting motorist in an accident on Rt 87 in Yonkers.
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 02:47 AM
You found one ok I was wrong, sorry one in how many years and hit by a car not in a hail of gun fire which was my point....how many everyday people have died by getting hit by cars? Happens all the time...again my point this isn't a tough beat in Brooklyn this is boring westchester....and funny u mention dunkin donuts...never ceasses Ro amaze how many times a cop..... Or should I say cops more often or not are doing exactly that sitting BSing eating donuts every time I stop for coffee.....sorry by put that is a fact cops jobs in westchester are boring as hell and they are grossly over compensated.....let me ask you people do you think taxes can go up by as much as they do every year indefinitely? Do you think this is even remotely fair or sustainable? Do I not as a over taxed citizen have a right to call out obvious flaws in current "system"
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Wanda one more thought on this do we need a TPD SHPD county Pd AND state PD......let me answer it for you.....NO we do not we could easily do with half the cops in westchester without missing a beat and not causing some massive crime wave the excess and redundancy here and in just about everything in westchester is my beef and why we pay highest taxes in country these are facts really not debatable actually but I am sure you will throw out some BS as to why we need them all along with everything else.....system broken and unsustainable public sector union employees are the bane of our community and pension benefits are burden that NEVER ends....again fact Nd indeed a broken unsustainable system
Tee February 23, 2013 at 06:08 AM
So then why aren't you a cop? If it's such a piece of cake (or should I say donut) job with such a great salary and benefits, and if (according to you) any idiot can do it, why aren't you?
JIM February 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM
@ Mr. Slivin, Sir as a police officer (no i dont work in Westchester) a Vollie firefighter AND an EMT I am insulted by your thoughts! just because a police officer works in Westchester or anywhere else does not mean the job they do is any less of a risk. THANK GOD no officers were killed in the line of duty in the County in the past few years!!!!!! answer this for me sir, have you ever been to a line of duty funeral???? have you ever stood there at attention and had to look into the eyes of an officers little girl as she cryes her eyes out? well sir I have..... way to many times!!!!! You have no idea what a police officer has to do during the day so please DO NOT put down what ANY officer does no matter where they work! As for what they get paid...you have to be kidding me...SHPD and TPD patrol one of the biggest drug roads around! Yes thats right Route 9 is a major drug Route from south to north and with drugs goes guns, so the officers in our two towns do have a tough job. Unless you put a uniform on and walk a beat with us, just nod and say Thank You!
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Wish they would actually do something about the drug issue that exist in sh and tarrytown then....just keeps getting worse.....as far as thank you your comp's say that plenty...I am glad cops don't get killed around here I don't wish ill on them and they are needed my point is the excess the OT abuse and pension rigging this all happens to a large scale and we the tax payers have to foot the bill for it not just now but for ever.....that is my point we don't need s many as we have...way do we need county cops if we have one in every town as well as state police? Ny is completelymoutnofncontrol and public union contracts and abuse is the reason....no thank you to that SIR
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Tee wouldn't want to be a cop way to boring for me driving around aimlessly all day writing tickets as highlight of the day....nope not for me
JIM February 23, 2013 at 02:17 PM
as for contracts......in my 20 years as a police officer i have worked 13 years without a contract and when they were closed we got zero or 1 prct raise. Sir you have no clue what the job of a police officer is. how many holidays have you had to work away from your family? how many of your child's birthdays have you missed? so your answer is to spred law enforcement thinner then it is already because you feel that each town does not need a police dept........... when you feel you need police fire or ems do me one favor sir...just wait 10 min. then call lets se how you change your thinking at that point. that is what it will be like if all of the cuts you want take place.
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 02:37 PM
You are the minority then? Where is this maybe I should move Theresa far as contacts....here it is sickening and the abuse is rampant....you can't even fire clearly horrible cops even criminal ones without writing them a massive check on way out.....see SHPD recent history for good example of that.....response time if we had one police dept for sh and tarrytown would be about 2 minutes slower if that not 10......the towns are basically the SAME town for Christ sake.....I can live with that considering in my 15 years here I haven't needed them once and probably never will I think I have a very good idea what cops jobs are I know 3 westchester county cops who work in rough towns of Bedford Scarsdale and dobbs ferry....real rough stuff they deal with....none has ever had to even unholstern their guns and all I hear is how freaking boring their days are....as far as holidays away from your families.....don't you get double tie. Or some shit like that for it? Or if not I am sure the sergeant makes up for it in loads of OT other shifts......if we are talking Bronx or Brooklyn or even mt Vernon or part of Yonkers some of your points are valid for the vast part of westchester they are not sir.....burdens on taxpayers in current system is what public sector has become and your unions are to blame...never thought this way growing up until the reality of the insane tax situation here hits you square in the face and you start looking around at causes and they are clear as day.
JIM February 23, 2013 at 02:45 PM
you have no clue
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Jim...one more point you say in your 20 years....and then you retired right? In early 40's no doubt...maybe even on a disability claim.....this is the problem now we have to carry you for the rest of your life? So the people paying for all this have to work till they are 70 before we can retire but you guys can bolt after a mere 20......do you see why the rest of us may have a little problem with that SIR!!!!! It's a joke it's broken and it needs to change.......Cops should be the ones saying THAMK YOU to us actually Jim not the other way around...you all are the ones who don't have a clue what it's like in the real world not the other way around....we could be fired at anytime no OT no pension.....etc etc etc....give me a break Jim no one who has a clue is buying this BS
DeeplyConcernedabout T-town February 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Mr. Silvin, obviously you will never be happy here. Your rants go on and on. You need to change scenery. You mention that you are taking care of your elderly parents, do they share your thoughts? As to the services provided by the police, fire & ems, they will still respond no matter how much you rage against the current system. WE WILL BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED US!
JIM February 23, 2013 at 03:22 PM
no i have not retired i am still working.....i guess by your thinking, we as police officers or union workers dont have to pay taxes??????? ummm hello i pay taxes just like you. hahah we can "bolt" in 20 years....yes we can but in that 20 years we are spat on beat kicked abused and yes even shot at we see the unthinkable so if we decide to retire after 20 years, with all of our life long injuries that we get protecting people like you who think we do nothing all day so be it. you say with a disability claim hahahahahah you have no idea how hard it is to get out that way. wake up
DeeplyConcernedabout T-town February 23, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Mr. Silivin, there is no reason to attack or make allegations about Jim's comments. His status is not in question. You constantly rant & attack those who question your views in a polite manner, not necessary. You offer no solutions, you only rant. Enough already! Stop!
wanda February 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I am sure you will not get killed by a drunk driver while on a CC at your desk 12 hrs a day. I am sure people dont think you are worth the money also. Seeing you are a pompous AS-HOLE. You must be a blood sucking attorney.
DeeplyConcernedabout T-town February 23, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Wanda, He might be an attorney or he might be a politician; or even a village administrator!
john slivin February 23, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Ouch I am hurt doubt I will be able to sleep tonight...you nailed in lawyer all the way....I know my views my not be popular that is ok things need to change around here one way or another that is clear as it is completely not sustainable...I hope sooner rather than later so I can stay around as it is a beautiful place but if not I will leave and live like a king in a much lower cost area without these insane public sector union issues...plenty of options out there with more states coming to grips that this can't go on every year....our friends in NJ seem to be well on right track....as far as not offering soutions that is not true.....less cops.....and new more realistic contracts with all public sector workers especially teachers which actually are the bigger issue on taxes here...this will happen it has too question is when...Jim u never said where u put in ur 20 years but I am sure it was an area that had more risk than typical westchester cop so I will take u at ur word at that but unwill never convince me the average westchester county cop is frequently if ever putting there lives on the line....that is just plain BS and stats prove it.....reason why NYC cops come up here is better pay and cushier jobs this again is fact....boredom is worst enemy here which is a good thing I don't wish it to be different I don't enjoy my intelligence being assaulted when you say differently however it is what it is....safe stable job with unreal benefits
Patricia February 26, 2013 at 01:53 PM
The truth is that the reason the crime rates are low in Westchester County is because it is heavily policed. I am up to date on the Federal Crime Statistics and it is directly related to the amount of police presence in a given area. John Silvin can look that up him self, I don't expect a man with those psychiatric issues to believe anyone at their word. And I don't understand his attack on workers who want to make a livable wage because those workers also have to pay the taxes in order to live here.
john slivin February 26, 2013 at 03:08 PM
yup Patricia quilty as charged i have huge psychiatric anyone who questions the highest taxes in the country and completely unsustainable public sector unions contracts must be completely insane....
Patricia February 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
We do not pay the highest taxes in the country, close, but not the highest. Just another one of your inaccurate statements. NYC cops have not been hired in Tarrytown in over ten years, again where are you getting your false information that you continually comment on. You can complain, as you say, that is your right, but at least complain about the truth.
john slivin February 26, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Actually Patricia Westchester county taxes are the highest in the country not sure what stats you are looking at but that is indeed FACT Google highest taxes in country and see what happens......you are clueless
Aintthatascam February 26, 2013 at 05:40 PM
And the roads you people have, ugh. The whole infrastructure is falling apart. Consolidation would be the best thing for Westchester. One police agency, 3 or 4 substations and two dispatching facilities. Enough of the $150K a year Police chiefs who might make yearly appearances and push papers. Enough of the favoritism, nepotism and so on. Enough with the police officer earning $75K a year answering a phone at the "headquarters" (with the usual nasty attitudes mind you). Village Police Departments should be a thing of the past, especially with today's technology. But, this will never happen. Why? Because of the Police unions. On to option b, any ideas?
john slivin February 26, 2013 at 05:41 PM
In depth: Where Americans pay most in property taxes No one looks forward to the day their annual property tax bill arrives. But those in affluent Westchester County, a suburban swath of New York that includes areas such as Rye and Armonk, most likely dread it more than most. That's because homeowners fork over a median $8,404 per year to live there. That's seven times more than the $1,180 national average, and on a dollar basis, the highest in the nation. Across the country, Marin County, Calif., holds a similar distinction. While not as lofty as Westchester's, the region's $5,233 median annual property taxes are the highest in the West. Residents of Loudon County, Va., a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., pay most in the South, or $4,844 annually. And in the Midwest, those in Lake County, Ill., lay out $6,050 a year to own a home. Behind the numbers In ranking each county, we used the 2008 U.S. Census' American Community Survey, which is conducted every year with a smaller sample of Americans than the decennial census (one home in every 40 receives the ACS, as opposed to the one in six that receives the 10-year census). The survey asked property owners how much they spent per month in property taxes.
john slivin February 26, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Exactly, doubt a massive crime wave we ensue
knowledgeispower April 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM
@ John Silvin: You SIR are a MORON! Plain and simple. but whats worse is you dont realize that you are the true drain on the economy and society. You are a LAWYER as you said earlier. SO to keep with your stereotyping, lawyers are the most overpaid, over compensated profession i can think of. please tell me why you need a 25K retainer, before you even file a single motion? why do you need to charge people more then they make in a year simply to defend them in miniscule cases? the only positive thing i see coming out of possibly having less law enforcement is that it would put you out of a job. if you dont follow me on this point, go learn about the rules of supply and demand, actually ill educate you. police give you a supply of clients, and your services are in demand, however less cops means less arrests, not less crime mind you just less arrests, which lowers your demand which means eventually you will be out of work. you spoke of NJ, i think you should go move there, then you can enjoy living with all the other shit NJ has that no other state wants (including lawyers).
knowledgeispower April 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM
additionally as a tax payer you have every right to give your input on government, however, if you are not willing to step up to the plate and do something to be part of the solution, then stop running your mouth, there is an old saying "there is an ass for every seat" YOU SIR ARE TAKING UP TWO! Everyone is tired of hearing you complain, heres an idea....spend less time at work writing on patch, and more time working, and maybe youll get more money/promotion (we know how people love to promote stupidity and ignorance) and maybe then youll have the money you need to carry your share in society. bottom line until youve put your life on the line for another person, dont judge those who do. Police/Fire/EMS/Military they all provide a vital service and ensure that you are safe, healty and free enough to run the massive chasm in your face you call a mouth. its time for you to be quiet now sir, no one is listening anymore.
john slivin April 18, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Ps leave military out gof this I have never mentioned them ever and think they are amazing and are not part of this local westchester tax crisis at all....and yes it is a unsustainable crisis and anyone not seeing that really doesn't understand what future looks like with current liabilities at all.....do u think taxes can continue to go up 4-8 percent forever knowledgeboy?...really...do the math on that and see what you come back with.....and as far as paying my share....I do that and then some that I assure you Comrade
knowledgeispower April 18, 2013 at 12:41 AM
First of all we aren't in russia, so im not your comrade, second of all, as long as the amount we get paid increases with the taxes, then it is sustainable, its not that bad. However until people like you and the rest of the obamanation are no longer calling the shots, this country is screwed. You dont pay nearly enough for how much you shoot off your mouth. Youve never spent a day in the line of fire, never run into a burning building to save a life or given up a day off to help save the life of someone else. You are selfish and all you care about is yourself. You dont give two shits about sleepy hollow or westchester county or the residents, all you care about is you and how youre going to save money to buy your next big ticket item, do us all a favor stop talking and just move to somewhere else. You disgust me.
john slivin April 18, 2013 at 01:16 AM
You don't crap about me so stop....not worried about next big ticket as much as funding retirement actually....no pensions in real world.....line of fire burning blding what are I a superman movie....bad enough the contracts themselves with all the nonsense but then we allow all corruption/gaming of system as well....ridiculous OT last few years bogus disability etc it is disgusting and everyone has to absorb this nonsense....it will end no doubt about it and I am far from only one who feels this way....taxes are going up way more then overall comp in real world...we don't have set contracts with set raises very year....you get paid for performance....tough concept for a genius like you I know......this corrupt state one of the last union strongholds but that will change as well...it has to....
knowledgeispower April 18, 2013 at 02:18 AM
II'm done arguing with you, you have proven to be not only a moron but completely incompetent and illogical. You speak without any idea of what your talking about. Its like talking to a crash test dummy. There is no reasoning or talking to people like you you just want an audience to run your mouth to.

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