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Long IslandNassau

Great Neck signs contract with existing ambulance provider

1st Lt. Justin Sachmechi, left, and firefighter Joshua

1st Lt. Justin Sachmechi, left, and firefighter Joshua Banilivy of Great Neck Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Co., which will continue providing ambulance services for the village. Photo Credit: Newsday / Danielle Finkelstein

The village of Great Neck has officially signed this year’s ambulance contract with volunteer company Great Neck Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Co., after two years of operating on a monthly agreement.

The Great Neck Village Board voted 5-0 at a Tuesday meeting to sign the 2017 contract. The village agreed to pay $260,421 for ambulance services, retroactive from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2017.

Mayor Pedram Bral said Wednesday that officials reached the decision after completing their due diligence, including researching other companies such as Northwell Health.

“We know Vigilant has been serving our community for a very long time,” Bral said. “Everyone owes a tremendous gratitude. Change may be uncomfortable at first, but we have to look and see how we can better the services we have.”

Bral added that the village signed upon a verbal agreement that Vigilant would offer dedicated life support coverage around the clock, seven days a week. It is now available daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The villages of Saddle Rock and Kings Point have yet to sign this year’s contract, which calls for Saddle Rock to pay $28,821 and Kings Point to foot a bill of $215,982. Officials for the two villages could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

David Weiss, chairman of Vigilant’s board of trustees, said that the company is “thrilled” that Great Neck has signed on, and that he remains optimistic that the other northern peninsula villages will follow suit.

“We are a cutting-edge ambulance fire department,” Weiss said. “By having all the villages sign on, it helps us achieve and try to get better . . . We can always get better.”

Great Neck’s signed contract follows community concerns after a January closed-door meeting between Northwell and the eight mayors of the Great Neck Village Officials Association.

Vigilant is researching a possible switch that would bill residents’ health insurances instead of the villages directly, Weiss said.

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