Voluntary ambulance (New York City)
Twenty five hospitals in New York run ambulances that respond to 9-1-1 calls under the auspices of the Fire Department of New York Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Voluntary ambulances work in conjunction with FDNY ambulances. 37% of the ambulance tours in the city are run by voluntary hospitals. Voluntary ambulances are the same as FDNY units in terms of staffing, protocols, and they carry similar equipment. Voluntary ambulance crews are employees of the hospital. Voluntary ambulances (as well as FDNY ambulances) are forbidden to "steer" patients to their home hospitals under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.
In December 2010 the mayor's office and the Fire Department of New York announced a plan to charge hospitals to participate in the New York City 911 system. The city hoped to collect $8.7 million from the hospitals to help cover the cost of telemetry (online medical control) and dispatch. Many feared the added costs would push voluntary hospitals out of the 911 system all together and thereby put additional strain on the FDNY. Many questioned the ability of the FDNY to handle the additional work load and cost if voluntary hospitals were to pull out of the 911 system. The proposal never came to fruition.
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