Vigilant Fire Company Ambulance Contract Update

Clockwise (from left) Vigilant Fire Company Chief Josh Forst, President Phil Katz, Recording Secretary Kimberly Molina, Financial Secretary Steven Trachtman, Trustee Robert Lincoln and EMS Second Lieutenant Rami Chazan

The Great Neck Vigilant Engine and Hook & Ladder Co., Inc., known as the Vigilant Fire Company, would like to reassure the community that EMS service will remain unchanged despite no official contract being signed by the mayors of Saddle Rock and Kings Point. Vigilant Fire Company said that it will continue to prioritize first-class emergency medical services to the Great Neck peninsula—offering a five-minute average response time, with three ambulances and three emergency response vehicles permanently stationed north of the Long Island Rail Road.

“It’s been truly humbling to hear the impact we’ve had on the lives of community members over the course of our 80 years of EMS service,” said Josh Forst, chief of Vigilant Fire Company. “Stories of our dedicated volunteers stretching back decades, going above and beyond to make an impact for individual residents, have resonated throughout the Great Neck peninsula.”

In March, Vigilant Fire Company called for clarity from village mayors regarding a potential shift in EMS services from Great Neck-based Vigilant to Northwell Health. With the continued support of neighbors, Vigilant Fire Company hopes to move closer to an agreement with the villages to keep the community-based service as the peninsula’s EMS provider for years to come.

According to Forst, the Villages of Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington and Thomaston have either signed and returned or approved Vigilant’s 2017–18 ambulance contract.

“When you’re in a community for as long as we have, you forge a special relationship with the people you serve,” said David Weiss, chairman of Vigilant’s Board of Trustees. “We know the families, we know the streets and we know the needs of our community. As a resident, I want to ensure Vigilant is there to respond to an emergency call in my village, and I hope our community continues to make its voices heard until
we come to a definitive resolution.”

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