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County Responds to EMS Crisis with Fly Car Service

SeniorCare Fly Car

Monticello, NY – On Thursday, Sullivan County legislators took a major step in addressing the ongoing emergency medical services (EMS) shortage by unanimously approving the funding of four staffed “fly cars” throughout the County.

“We have heard the concerns of our citizens and our EMS agencies, and we agree that action is needed,” said Legislature Chair Nadia Rajsz. “I am proud that we were all able to agree on providing this much-needed support service for our volunteer ambulance agencies and, in turn, a vital service for all of our Sullivan County residents.”

“We understand this is not the local ambulance corps’ fault, but it’s unacceptable to have residents waiting an hour or more for an ambulance to arrive,” added District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez, chair of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee and leader of this initiative.

“As a resident of Sullivan County myself, I understand firsthand the challenges that face the fine EMS professionals operating in the region,” affirmed Michael S. Vatch, MPA, NRP, CCEMT-P, the Chief Executive Officer of SeniorCare EMS, which was awarded the contract. “I believe we can bring a service to the EMS system which enhances the already strong system in place. We are excited as we begin to develop the role we will play, and we are indeed honored to have been chosen by Sullivan County.”

SeniorCare will be paid $5.4 million over two years to provide four “fly cars” – SUVs that carry EMTs or paramedics but do not transport patients. The service is expected to start later this year.

“Fly cars are a faster, less resource-intensive way of getting care to the scene of a medical incident,” explained Sullivan County Public Safety Commissioner Scott Schulte. “These vehicles will be stationed in strategic locations around the County, supplementing existing ambulance services so that we can rapidly respond.”

Each car will have an EMT assigned to it 24/7. Two vehicles will be capable of Basic Life Support (BLS, giving immediate care at the scene in order to stabilize and support patients through basic techniques like CPR or AEDs (automated external defibrillators) until help arrives). Two will be capable of Advanced Life Support (ALS, providing advanced airway management, IV access, medication administration, and advanced cardiac life support).

“Ambulances will follow every call a fly car is dispatched to,” said Schulte. “The fly cars will not compete with our local corps – they will not ‘steal’ calls, and if a corps is able to respond, we will defer to them.”

SeniorCare, a Bronx-based EMS provider, was chosen out of four potential vendors based on considerations of cost, dedication to this initiative, comprehensiveness of their proposal, and references. Once this two-year contract expires, the County can choose to extend it annually.

“Voters elect us to represent their interests, and taxpayers expect us to provide services regardless of whether we break even – I consider this an essential service that is well worth the money we’re investing,” remarked District 5 Legislator Cat Scott, who chairs the Legislature’s Health & Human Services Committee.

“This was a fantastic step forward for the County’s health, welfare, and public safety, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work that was done by this Legislature to make this happen,” added District 1 Legislator Matt McPhillips.

“Sullivan County is as large as Rhode Island, and providing care rapidly is a challenge,” noted District 3 Legislator Brian McPhillips. “So this initiative is a key first step in supporting our existing ambulance corps and ensuring no one is left waiting when they need EMS.”

“This shows how the Legislature can work together to make life-changing progress across the County, and I am proud to be part of it,” said District 4 Legislator Nicholas Salomone.

“Today was a milestone for Sullivan County,” remarked Legislature Vice Chair Joseph Perrello on Thursday. “This will be an essential service that we need and will provide people who can respond quickly to give patients support before the ambulance arrives.”

“I am so gratified to help make this happen, as our hardworking volunteers deserve support, and our citizens’ very lives depend on prompt emergency response,” stated District 8 Legislator Amanda Ward.

“The resounding support received for engaging a third-party EMS provider for fly-car services, as evidenced by the overwhelming majority vote from the Sullivan County EMS Advisory Board, highlights our shared dedication to delivering high-quality emergency medical services to our community,” said District 9 Legislator Terry Blosser-Bernardo.

“This is an exciting time for our company and an opportunity to bring our history and strengths into the Sullivan County system,” concluded Vatch. “We are ready to get to work, and over the next several weeks and months, we have ambitious plans to stand up resources which will make Sullivan County proud of their decision to choose SeniorCare EMS.”

About SeniorCare

Since its humble beginnings in 2005, SeniorCare EMS has grown from a small three-ambulance provider into one of the largest ambulance companies in the downstate region, developing into an agency that represents the gold standard in EMS, and in 2021 were accredited (and re-accredited in 2024) by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. SeniorCare is one of only four agencies in the State of New York to obtain this accreditation. SeniorCare remains committed and grounded in its core values of clinical excellence and outstanding customer service. Its senior leadership team all come from EMS backgrounds and have decades of experience in 911 systems and management. Several are residents of Orange and Sullivan counties. This foundation allows for a leadership team that understands the dynamics of the profession and can tend to the changing needs of patients and providers alike. For more about SeniorCare, visit