Construction is expected to begin this fall on a nearly $3 million expansion of Livingston County’s Emergency Operations Center at the county’s Hampton Corners complex in program.

The project would provide a home for Livingston County Emergency Medical Services, which is currently sharing space with the Emergency Management Office.

“We’ve grown to the extent that we don’t have enough space inside,” Karen Dewar, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services, said during a recent visit in which an EMT was doing paperwork in the EOC’s training room.

The new 12,536-square-foot facility is to be built as a largely freestanding building behind the current EOC. The new building, which will share one hallway with the existing EOC, will create space for the county’s emergency medical personnel, including technician and supervisors offices, a training room, equipment and supply storage.

The project will also create a separate three-story space for vehicles to be stored in a protected parking area, allowing the diesel-fueled vehicles to be available in emergency situations even in frigid temperatures. A total of seven ambulances and five fly cars, which are currently parked outside, would be in protected parking areas.

“It’s a major accomplishment,” Dewar said of the building project. “This reflects growth in the agency and the supervisors’ faith in our future.”

Bids from four contractors were approved by the county Board of Supervisors during its July 24 meeting. Contractors selected were DiPasquale Construction Inc. of Spencerport, $1.838 million for general construction and site work; Pipitone Enterprises LLC of Churchville, $134,800 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning; North Coast Electrical Solutions of Webster, $375,825 for electrical work; and Amering & Johnson Plumbing, Heating and AC of Shortsville, $164,100 for plumbing.

There was one bid received for general contracting, seven bids each for mechanical construction and electrical work, and five bids for plumbing.

The meeting also saw the Board of Supervisors approve an resolution to allow for the issuance of an additional $500,000 in bonds for the project. In November 2018, the county had authorized $2.4 million in bonds for the project.

The bonds will provide interim financing until previously awarded state grants and U.S. Department of Agriculture funding kicks in, said County Administrator Ian Coyle.

Funding for the project comes from multiple sources, including a low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project has also been awarded two grants from the State and Muncipalities Program totaling $400,000 from state Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, and former state Sen. Catharine Young.

The county needs to wrap up final approvals with the USDA funds and get contracts in place. If all proceeds as planned, work could begin at the site in 30 to 60 days, said Deputy County Administrator William T. Mann.

Initial site work would include moving an electric utility pole and fire hydrant.

The project is expected to be completed by 2020.

The project is expected to have little to no effect on daily operations at the EOC, Mann said.

The project comes as LCEMS sees significant growth – from about 4,000 calls in 2016 to nearly 5,000 calls in 2018. The service is on pace to top that number in 2019, Dewar said.

“EMS,” she said, “is an essential service that will continue to get busier and busier.”

In April, LCEMS expanded its service to include the area previously served by Avon Rotary-Lions Ambulance Service.

“We’ve been seeing regular increases” in call volume, Dewar said. “EMS in general is busier than ever. It’s not a failure of agencies that are causing call volumes to increase.”

Monthly call volumes have been in the 400s, even approaching 500. Livingston County EMS went out 499 times in May and 492 times in June, Dewar told county committees earlier this month.

“The continued growth of our LCEMS shows there is a continued need in our county for excellent emergency medical care,” Board of Supervisors Chairman David L. LeFeber said in a statement. “The expansion of the EOC demonstrates Livingston County’s commitment to providing the best emergency medical care possible to our residents.”

LeFeber, who is also the Avon town supervisor, praised Dewar and her department for its “tireless efforts to provide our residents with the best level of emergency medical care.”

Livingston County EMS provides pre-hospital medical services such as treatment and transportation of sick or injured Livingston County residents. The county EMS service also works alongside 10 transporting ambulance services, seven fire department first responder agencies, five Advanced Life Support services, SUNY Geneseo First Response Agency and three air medical services.

“As LCEMS continues to grow, it is important that our department has the resources necessary to provide residents with the best level of emergency medical care possible,” said Dewar, who thanked LeFeber and the board for “demonstrating their commitment to our department and its mission.”

Dewar called the work for the EOC expansion “essential.”

The USDA investment was initially announced in November 2018. At that time, Richard Mayfield, New York State Director of Rural Development, said “Access to health care is essential for every community. It supports a high quality of life, and it helps businesses attract and retain workers. USDA is partnering with rural communities across the country to help rural residents and workers get access to modern, convenient health care services.”of

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