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Leaflet campaign seeks to save paramedic jobs

BATAVIA -- In an effort to save 24 City of Batavia Fire Department jobs, members of Local 896, International Association of Fire Fighters, conducted a leaflet campaign over the weekend, accusing the City Council of jeopardizing public safety by eliminating ambulance service.

The city, which for several years has had contracts with area villages, town and fire districts to provide emergency ambulance and life-support services, has decided to end the countywide service as of Sept. 1. Genesee County is seeking alternatives -- probably one of the area's three private ambulance services.

The firefighters union, which represents 24 paramedics, insists that, contrary to city figures, the service is profitable -- that the fund for the service has posted a $44,000 surplus.

The City Council two years ago had to hire a collection agency to seek payment of nearly $1 million in fees, most from out-of-city residents.

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