News of Otsego County


Letter by Gary A. Wehner

Letter by Gary A. Wehner


To the Editor:

The September decision by the Otsego County Board of Representatives to implement a county-run emergency medical services (EMS) system is an unfortunate and ill-informed solution to the very serious problem of inadequate volunteer rural EMS in Otsego County. To the best of my knowledge, this plan was adopted without any public hearing or other public comment.

Otsego County Seeks To Supplement Struggling Local Emergency Services

Otsego County Seeks To Supplement
Struggling Local Emergency Services

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Emergency medical services are struggling to respond to calls county-wide, leading Otsego County officials to consider stepping in with supplemental services.

“I’ve been in the service for 47 years. I have never seen it this bad,” said Rep. Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, Edmeston, Exeter, Plainfield, who is a member of the Edmeston Fire Department and Rescue Squad and the chair of the county’s Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee.

Wilber said he and his fellow PSLA members have been listening to Otsego County Emergency Services Coordinator Art Klingler Jr. and Otsego County E-911 Director Bob O’Brien. Both men have been warning them that a generation of EMS workers are aging out of service or have been discouraged by the lengthy coronavirus pandemic.

“Now it has become very evident that we need to come up with something to assist the locals in the process,” Klinger told the county’s Board of Representative during a special presentation Wednesday, April 7.

The duo made a presentation asking the board to develop a plan for supplemental EMS help, with a county ambulance and/or an advanced life support fly car to assist with response and transportation to people in need of emergency health help.

Biggest Ambulance Company Acquires Locally Based CMT

Biggest Ambulance Company

Acquires Locally Based CMT


HOMETOWN ONEONTA & The Freeman’s Journal – Margaret McGown and Mark Zeek built Cooperstown Medical Transport up from a single vehicle in over 38 years.

COOPERSTOWN – Owners Margaret McGown and Mark Zeek announced the sale of Cooperstown Medical Transport to AMR (American Medical Response), which employs 28,000 emergency medical personnel in 40 states and Washington, D.C.

An asset- purchase agreement was signed Tuesday, Jan. 8, and the sale is expected to be complete by the end of March, pending final approval by the Susquehanna Regional EMS Council, covering Chenango County, and the Adirondack/Appalachian EMS council, which covers Otsego and Delaware counties.

In a press release, AMR said it will transition employees andcustomers to the new entity between now and then.

“Mark and I have lived the American Dream,” said McGown in announcing the sale of the three-county enterprise that began as one ambulance the couple bought for $900 in 1980 from Jim Dow, the Cooperstown funeral director.

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