Marbletown Fire and EMS Operations - An Evaluation of Existing Conditions and Opportunities for the Future

The Town of Marbletown and its 5,500 residents are served by seven fire districts and an independent ambulance service. The Town Board, the ambulance service leadership and the leadership of six of the fire districts commissioned a study to evaluate the existing operations of the fire districts and EMS service and identify options for improved service. The project has been overseen by a steering committee from the Town, the ambulance (Marbletown First Aid Unit or MFAU) and the six participating districts – Cottekill, High Falls, Lomontville, Marbletown, Stone Ridge and Vly-Atwood. The project initially focused on the ambulance service because it was identified to have time sensitive questions related to the possible creation of an ambulance district. CGR found that MFAU is handling basic life support responses and transports effectively through a combination of career and volunteer staff. The agency is properly equipped, certified and trained to meet the needs of the community. However, it was also in a precarious financial position and would need financial support from the Town in order to remain viable in 2022. An interim CGR report helped the Town identify the need for the financial support and the process for creating an ambulance district. The final report identified that the fire services have numerous bright spots including dedicated volunteers, ample equipment and adequate finances. However, they also have problem areas that need to be addressed in the very near future including inadequate staffing, capital building needs and duplicative governance structures. The report identified that several districts should consider consolidating into a single district in the near future. It also identified additional areas for sharing resources and coordination of actions that would likely improve the delivery of service. As of the end of 2022, two of the fire districts have dissolved leading to the expansion of operations of other departments in the area.

Report Date: Sep 2021
Author(s): Paul Bishop , David Riley , Michael Silva
Subject(s): Public Safety , Shared Services/Consolidation , Government Reorganization/Dissolution
Location: Ulster, New York

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