MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WETM) – Local crews have returned from helping the Buffalo area in its rescue efforts after the deadly Christmas blizzard, and Schuyler County says a team from its new EMS service helped get dozens of people to safety.

At least five local fire departments sent crews to Western New York last week to help with the cleanup and rescue. Cayuga Health also sent a team of two Emergency Medical Technicians from Schuyler EMS to Buffalo.

The hospital reported that EMS Techs Thomas Benedict and Jason Overhiser made the trek to Buffalo and the southtowns in a Schuyler EMS ambulance and helped move 50 injured and sick patients to local hospitals.

“EMS is about helping people. Schuyler County should be proud that this new collaboration was able to help our neighbors in Erie County,” said Schuyler County Administrator Fonda Chronis. “We look forward to the increased level of ambulance service in Schuyler County as well now that this contract is in full effect.”

Schuyler EMS is a brand-new service from the healthcare company and the county. It launched at its full capacity on January 2, 2023, serving the entire county with stations in Watkins Glen, Odessa, and Tyrone.

“We are a community-driven healthcare system and supporting our neighboring communities, like Erie County, during times of crisis is our obligation,” said Dr. Martin Stallone, Chief Executive Officer of Cayuga Health. “While our Schuyler County EMS team was there to provide aid during the recent storm, our hearts and prayers also go out to Damar Hamlin and his family today. We are united together as members of the Upstate NY community, and we are deeply saddened by the many misfortunes that have happened there over the past few weeks. We hold Buffalo in our thoughts and prayers.”

Cohocton Fire, Montour Falls Fire, Odessa Fire, Watkins Glen Fire, and Valois Logan Hector Fire also sent crews to Buffalo for 72-hour deployments last week.