DVAC was founded in 1971 and until recently was the only fully-volunteer ambulance agency in Schenectady County. The parcel, which is adjacent to DVAC’s 130 Cole Road property in Delanson and includes a house, will be used for administrative offices, training space, and lodging for first responders.
“We proudly stand behind our local first responders who play a crucial role in keeping our communities healthy and safe,” said Gary Hughes, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Providing this land to DVAC will allow them to continue their outstanding work in Duanesburg and the surrounding area, ensuring a strong foundation for the well-being of our residents.”
“First responders play a pivotal role in safeguarding the health and safety of residents, particularly in rural areas where getting timely medical care can be challenging,” said Schenectady County Legislator Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Firefighting & EMS Committee. “DVAC plays a crucial role in bridging this gap, providing swift and effective emergency assistance to the residents they serve. We're pleased to support their important work and are grateful for their continued commitment to our community.”
“The County Legislature’s generous donation not only strengthens our capacity to deliver life-saving services, but also allows DVAC to introduce drop-in services for diabetes and blood pressure monitoring, directly benefiting the well-being of our community members,” said Robert Cuttita, Chairman of the DVAC Board of Directors. “Schenectady County’s continued commitment to our mission reflects the collaborative spirit and sense of community central to our emergency response initiatives.”
Schenectady County Fire Service Improvement Grant Fund
In 2023, the County Legislature awarded 22 volunteer and combined fire departments with a total of $440,000 in grant funding, an increase in their annual $50,000 appropriation to the County’s Fire Service Improvement Grant Fund. The Legislature awarded over $200,000 in additional funding to local departments from 2019-2022 through the grant, which was created to enhance the departments’ capabilities in response to the impact and magnitude of unusual storms, natural disasters, and every day responses have on their resources.
Supporting Local EMS
In 2022, the County Legislature granted $50,000 to DVAC and $150,000 to Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services (REMS) to help cover expenses incurred due to the pandemic.
Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers
Last year the Legislature expanded the County’s property tax exemption to the maximum allowed for members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance services with a minimum of two years of service.
Eligible volunteers can now receive an exemption on their Schenectady County property taxes for 10% of the total assessed value of their primary residence. Applications for the exemption can be filed with the local assessor and must be received by March 1, 2024 to be eligible for the expanded property tax exemption starting in January 2025. Applications and additional information about the exemption is available at www.schenectadycountyny.gov/fire-exemption.
Become a Volunteer Firefighter or EMS Worker
Volunteer departments depend on members of the community to help during times of crisis. While firefighters and EMS workers are the primary emergency responders for many neighborhoods throughout Schenectady County, there are many other volunteer opportunities available to help departments respond to fire alarms, rescue and medical calls, and help their communities through environmental and natural disasters. Learn more about becoming a volunteer firefighter or EMS worker in Schenectady County at www.schenectadycountyny.gov/emo/volunteer-firefighter.
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