Friday, September 29, 2023

Cornwall Updates Public on COVAC Ouster Next Week

The Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Boards held a special public information meeting last night to discuss the New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corp (NWVAC) taking over coverage. The ouster of the Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corp (COVAC) still stands.

Last month, The Newburgh News reported that both boards voted to terminate their contracts with COVAC and have NWVAC take over beginning July 1, 2022.

See our original story here

See our editorial here

During last night’s meeting, Cornwall-on-Hudson Mayor James Gagliano declared, “We’re not here tonight to do any re-litigation of what the Town Council and the Village Board have elected to do.” He explained this was only a transitional meeting.

Cornwall Town Supervisor Joshua Wojehowski said, “I first want to thank the current and former members of COVAC for their service to Cornwall for many decades.”

Gagliano and Wojehowski have met individually with members of COVAC’s board to accommodate the transition. Wojehowski said the Town and Village have been working closely with COVAC and NWVAC members to transfer all paperwork.

NWVAC Chief Michael Bigg attended the meeting and discussed the progress that has been made. Bigg said NWVAC’s new ambulance will be in service today and will contain the same logo as the Cornwall police cars along with the town seal. Uniforms have been ordered that will state “Cornwall EMS.”

Bigg explained that most times, ambulance coverage will be Basic Life Support, the same coverage that COVAC had been providing. He said sometimes a paramedic may be on board, making it an Advanced Life Support service.

NWVAC will be taking over heading into Cornwall’s large July 4 activities. Bigg said NWVAC will be heavily covering the events with multiple ambulances, multiple paramedics, ATVs and bicycles. “That’s going to be our first big task,” he noted.

For those who are scanner enthusiasts, NWVAC will operate in Cornwall using NWVAC’s frequencies. COVAC’s frequency bounced off a repeater owned by the Vail’s Gate Fire Department atop Snake Hill in New Windsor. COVAC is in the process of disengaging from that tower.

COVAC is slated to vacate their building on June 30, 2022. NWVAC will begin covering all calls starting on July 1, 2022.

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