New Berlin Residents Fight for Ambulance Service

By Michelle Costanza

February 5, 2013 Updated Feb 5, 2013 at 8:30 AM EDT

New Berlin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A group of New Berlin residents hoping to maintain their emergency services could lose lengthy battle.

In losing, though, they may gain additional ambulance services -- and higher taxes.

Board Members are leaning toward bringing in the Unadilla Valley Ambulance Corporation, or UVAC, citing problems with the Village of New Berlin Ambulance Service.

A final decision is expected Feb. 28.

Residents pleaded with the board Monday, saying local crews have served the village for decades.

People from New Berlin and surrounding towns packed the Unadilla Central School Cafeteria to defend the village ambulance service.

Residents say a move to UVAC is unnecessary and irresponsible, and with a $40,000 price tag, unaffordable.

Residents told personal accounts of their positive experiences with the village service.

People said in times of need, the village's has always been prompt, efficient and extremely well-trained.

"Our New Berlin ambulance service has served us for 58 years, and they have been absolutely outstanding," said resident Robert Huot.

A contract to sign in the new service was another important topic of discussion.

Residents said the UVAC service had already been nixed in a 3-1 vote during a previous year, but that action was ignored by the town's currently leaders.

"I am very embarrassed to be a member of this town right now. I think this ambulance service (UVAC) was shoved down our throats. As a taxpayer and resident, I should have the right to vote on this, and furthermore, my vote should not be disregarded," said New Berlin resident John Parks.

They also claim the service contract was signed and obtained through illegal means.