Tribe Develops Safety Net for Ambulance Services

Jan 20, 2016

Clarification to Akwesasne & First Responders

Akwesasne, NY — Information concerning ambulance services was prematurely shared with our community members on January 14, 2016, both in print and on social media. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Health Services, Administration and Tribal Council sincerely apologize to our community and our dedicated first responders for the alarm following the headlines. In the absence of a renewed agreement between the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne regarding Ambulance Services, which expired on December 31, 2015, the Tribe’s Director of Health Services and Administration leadership developed a safety net for our community members, including a strategy to provide dedicated Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance staffed by paramedics, 24/7/365, increasing the availability of emergency response to calls for help while decreasing response times for Akwesasne. This information was shared prior to a final contract and before the Tribe was able to issue a written statement and present at the Tribal Monthly Meeting.

The Tribe took action to increase the availability of Advanced Life Support transport, which is staffed by paramedics, at the direct request of concerns expressed by community members at Tribal Monthly Meetings. “Akwesasne’s first responders are highly trained and provide excellent care, 24/7, with one truck and one crew,” stated Tribal Chief Beverly Cook, Family Nurse Practitioner. Our community has approximately 1400 homes; when there are multiple calls, traumas and life-threatening emergencies, our first responders’ resources are stressed. “By developing a safety net while we continue to work with MCA to augment the incredible service their first responders provide, it is our intent to build a strong infrastructure that meets the needs of our growing community.” ALS equipped ambulances and paramedics provide the critical level of care for patients requiring heart monitoring and patients with potential airway compromise.

“Requests to increase availability of coverage and provide Advanced Life Support to reduce intercepts by surrounding community transport have been the center of our discussions with MCA,” shared Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance. “The care of our elders, our children and anyone in need is what is most important, which is why we wanted to work with MCA to develop a plan to increase access to Advanced Life Support transport, also known as level III transport, which is imperative for care provided to trauma patients and those with life threatening emergencies.”

The Tribe has engaged Seaway Valley Ambulance to dedicate a truck 24/7/365, with the intent of working with MCA’s leadership to finalize a new contract and increase resources over the next year.

Our community members are encouraged to attend an informational meeting at Tsi Tetewatatkens /Senior Center at 5:00 p.m. this Friday, January 22, 2016 to learn the facts about the contract status and the impact of increasing availability of first responders to Akwesasne. This will further be discussed at our Enniska/February 6, 2016 Monthly Tribal Meeting to be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Community Building lobby.

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Please direct media inquiries to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Communications Department by telephone at (518) 358-2272 or by email,