Empress Ambulance Service Stymied by Employees’ Quarantine and COVID Calls

By Stephen E. Lipken



Pelham Town Supervisor Daniel McLaughlin called the February 7 Council meeting to order, immediately requesting the passage of Local Law #2: 2022 Veterans Exemption, in which Main increased from $54,000 to $75,000; Combat Zone, $36,000 to $50,000; Disabled Veterans $180,000 to $250,000, with a 49-cent tax increase. This was swiftly approved.


Then Councilwoman/Deputy Supervisor Rae Szymanski gave her Flycar Report. There were 80 total calls for the month of January; 46 in Pelham; 29 Pelham Manor; 5 on the Hutch.  43% of calls were answered in 6 minutes; 71%, 7 minutes.  There was a complaint from a gentleman on Reed Avenue who fell and broke his arm; nobody responded, and he had to be privately driven to a hospital. 


“That was the day of the multiple-car pileup on the Hutch,” Szymanski noted.  “No units from Empress or Mutual Aid were available.”


“In the month of January, Empress Ambulance Senior Director of Operations Scott Holland said that he had 125 employees quarantined.  You could hear the stress in his voice,” Szymanski remarked. “Scott usually averages 830 calls a month; there were 1,000 because of COVID.”


Councilwoman Kara McLoughlin reported, “The senior citizens are very excited. The Recreation Van is now available, Monday through Wednesday, from 9:15am to 3pm. Monday meetings are back and there is Pickleball Wednesdays at Colonial School. They are looking forward going to Julianne’s Park in the Spring.


“The Recreation Department will have Spring after school programs at all four elementary schools. For the Summer, the Big Tots and all-day camps will be at Middle School and High School; Tiny Tots will be at three out of four elementary schools, waiting for confirmation which school will be under construction.


“There will be a Rising Star Baseball Camp at Glover Field.  All Summer activities and camps will be open for early registration in March,” McLoughlin concluded.