Town formally acquires ambulance corps, awaits cash transfer from Red Cross

FILE PHOTO | Red Cross volunteers outside their headquarters in 2007.

Taking the final steps to prepare for the official transfer of the Red Cross ambulance corps to town ownership, the Shelter Island Town Board at its year-end meeting on December 29 appointed 24 ambulance corps volunteers, created a capital reserve fund for the newly formed Emergency Medical Service and ratified an inter-municipal cooperation agreement with the Village of Dering Harbor to provide ambulance service there.

The formerly private Red Cross all-volunteer ambulance service and all its assets were officially acquired by the town as of January 1, 2012, a move prompted by the national Red Cross’s desire to divest itself of its last remaining ambulance service in the country.

The capital reserve fund was created by the Town Board to receive the cash it expects to acquire in the transfer to pay for new ambulances and other equipment. It also will be the repository for private donations, which were the sole source of the squad’s revenues before the town acquired it.

Late last year, Supervisor Dougherty estimated that the capital expenditure balance “seems to be close to $200,000,” but that number remained unconfirmed. Ms. Lewis said that once the amount of money to be transferred into the account is known, it will be made public.

The squad’s voluntary CEO under the Red Cross, Joyce Bausman expanded from the audience on Ms. Lewis’s remarks. “We probably won’t know the definite amount until March,” once the accounting with the National Red Cross is completed.

A full account of the December 29 Town Board meeting will appear in the January 5, 2012 edition of the Shelter Island Reporter.