The mission of the Department of Emergency Medical Services is to maintain a system capable of timely response to people in times of crisis, deliver quality “out-of-hospital” medical treatment and evacuation of the sick and injured. To accomplish our mission the department:
• Develops standards, policies & procedures pertaining to the provision of EMS.
• Conducts medical and operational quality assurance.
• Oversees Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) & EMS dispatch procedures.
• Manages Basic and Advanced Life Support First Response Service.
• Manages Basic and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service.
• Provides training and support services to maintain system equipment and personnel.
• Provides public information and education on prevention and emergency aid.
The Department is committed to providing these services utilizing a combination of volunteer and career staff and to continuing a tradition of EMS leadership.
The Colonie EMS Department is an award winning municipal 911 service formed in 1989 after a consolidation of several volunteer ambulance services in to a singular paramedic level EMS System. The EMS Department consists of a staff of more than 100 EMTs, paramedics, support, and administrative staff. We maintain a vehicle fleet of 23 vehicles in 7 stations —ambulances, a bariatric ambulance, special operations ambulances and vehicles, as well as SUVs.
In 2021 call volume exceeded 13,000 calls for service. The Department participates in new initiatives for patient care including telemedicine, alternative destination transports, and treat in place; and is also a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ET3 Model Participant.
The Department can provide Medication Facilitated Intubation with surgical airway backup, video laryngoscopy, mechanical CPR, Zoll X Series Advanced monitors, and ballistic protection are available on all ambulances. As an integral part of the Town’s emergency plan, staff are also trained in water rescue, ice rescue, low angle rope rescue, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials, confined space rescue, trench rescue, and receive active shooter training (ALERRT/AIRR).
The EMS Department is an American Heart Association Training Center for all disciplines as well as a NYS EMS Course Sponsor offering First Responder, EMT original and recertification courses. Through our community outreach efforts, the Department trains the public in courses including Stop The Bleed, fall prevention, Hands-Only CPR/AED and bloodborne pathogens.
The average ALS response time is under 7 minutes. Our long term survival rate for cardiac arrest patients in 2009 was 22%. This long term survival rate is the gold standard of EMS systems in the USA. Colonie EMS received the International Association of Fire Chief's Heartsafe Community award in 2010 for achieving the highest resuscitation rate in the United States for a community of less than 100,000 residents.
Additionally, the Department serves as a clinical field training location for EMT and paramedic students from Hudson Valley Community College, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, and the Regional Emergency Medical Organization courses.