Department of Health

Administration of Emergency Medical Services

Emergency medical services in New York are provided by about 1,200 local ambulance services, which are overseen by the Department of Health. At the time of our audit, 37 percent of these ambulance services had yet to be certified by the Department. According to a 1992 State law, by the year 2000, all ambulance services operating in New York must be certified by the Department. We evaluated the likelihood that this requirement will be met and concluded that it is more likely to be met if formal plans are developed describing what needs to be done for the remaining ambulance services to be certified. We also examined the procedures used by the Department to certify emergency medical technicians. We found that these procedures provide adequate assurance that individuals are not certified unless they are qualified. However, we noted that improvements are needed in the procedures used by the Department to identify prospective technicians with criminal histories, as is required by law. We also examined the extent to which the Department assesses the timeliness and quality of ambulance services. We found that the Department makes no systematic assessments of this kind. We recommend that such assessments be initiated.

For a complete copy of 95-S-56 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.