City plans to reduce volunteer EMTs

BROOKLYN - New York City plans to cut 35 community-run ambulance companies from its 911 system in order to reduce its budget during the current economic crisis.

The volunteers staff 50 ambulances and respond to an estimated 10-15,000 emergency calls annually, according to the State Volunteer Ambulance Association. Community EMTs are often off-duty medical technicians and carry the same certification as city medical personnel, the organization adds.

Many borough residents say the cuts will affect how long a patient has to wait before receiving critical medical care and could put lives at risk.

Rep. Anthony Weiner says the city needs to find other ways to cut costs.

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