Officials say service won’t change as Massena Rescue undergoes big shift

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:57 PM EST
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MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - It’s a big shift for Massena Rescue, as oversight will change from the town to the village. Officials say it will streamline public safety and stress the squad will still come to the rescue in Massena, along with the towns of Massena and Louisville.

“So nothing that anyone has seen in the community in the past as far as service and support from the fine people at the MVEU, it won’t change,” said Massena Mayor Timothy Ahlfeld.

The village will take over administration of the Rescue Squad from the town come January 1st.

“All the public services in Massena are all going to be under the same umbrella now,” said Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit President and CEO Wayne Love. “So we’re going to have the police department, the Rescue Squad, and the fire department all under the village.”

The Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit board of directors will still oversee rescue squad operations. The village will be responsible for equipment purchases. Those purchases will be paid for out of insurance revenues earned by the Rescue Squad.

“I just didn’t want to take over something that was going to put the burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers of Massena,” Ahlfeld said.

Billing will also stay the same. It’s all done by a third party billing insurance. People who can’t pay don’t have to.

Ahlfeld said controversies over paying bills and other matters last year had nothing to do with the switch. He said better coordination of public safety was the goal from day one.

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