Guilfoyle Ambulance To Town Of Watertown: Don't Blame Us

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Guilfoyle Ambulance General Manager Dave Sherman says, without a doubt, his company isn't stealing calls from the town of Watertown.

"We don't intercept calls.  If we're called, we go.  If it's in our area, we go," he said.

But the town ambulance has lost about 25 percent of calls this year to Guilfoyle. 

That's according to squad president David Roof who declined an on-camera interview. 

He says the problem is that some people in the town call Guilfoyle directly instead of calling 911. 

Roof says it's unethical for Guilfoyle to take those calls. 

But sherman says if his company is called, his ambulances respond.

"Maybe a town of Watertown resident calls us direct and we take that call.  It's legal.  If somebody calls and asks for help, we're going to send them help.  That's just the way it is," said Sherman.

Jefferson County Emergency Management Director Joe Plummer says people have the right to choose whether to call 911 or to just call Guilfoyle instead. 

He says while he does encourage people to call 911, both offer good service.

But, by passing over 911, it might cost town of Watertown residents money. 

With a lack of calls, the town ambulance isn't making enough to cover its costs and so residents using a town ambulance will now be billed for whatever insurance doesn't cover.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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