By Colleen Mahoney

Springville Fire Chief Dennis Dains thanked the Concord Town Board for their action to get Mercy EMS operating in Concord in 2015. At the board’s Aug. 12 meeting, Dains reported that municipalities north of Concord were beginning to have issues with their current emergency service provider and are looking to contract with another entity.

“Thanks, for all you’ve done and did [to get] the certificate of need,” Dains said. “Because of that, we’re way ahead of the ball game.”

Dains also reported that the Springville fire department recently met with Mercy EMS to review their partnership over the past year. He noted it was a productive meeting, and was a good opportunity for the organizations to address concerns.

Currently, there are two fully staffed advanced life support paramedic units, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is also a dedicated “fly car” on a 12-hour shift. A fly car is a vehicle driven by a trained emergency medical professional who can respond to emergency scenes but cannot transport patients. On the hours without a driver, Dains said paramedics from Sardinia, Colden and Machias can cover the vehicle, if needed.

The board approved extending a contract for a program manager at the Concord Senior Center with Healthy Community Alliance through Dec. 31. The position was being funded by Healthy Community Alliance through a grant that expires at the end of September. The board approved extending the contract and funding the position for an amount not to exceed $5,400.

Jennifer Mantione, who currently holds the position, called the decision to extend the contract “good news.” She noted that the seniors in the area deserve a nice place of their own, and without the program coordination with the Springville Concord Elder Network (SCENe) position, that may not be a reality.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff no one notices, because it just gets done. Keeping the garden clean, keeping the building clean … just making sure that everything is running smoothly,” Mantione said. “There is a lot of coordination involved … we want to make sure the seniors who come here have a comfortable experience.”

Mantione had been operating with the hope that her position would be extended, so she continued to fill in the program schedule for the fall season. She noted it is important for the senior center to have a “gamut” of programming available, as the patrons have different hobbies.

“We have such a diverse group of seniors … who love different things,” she said. “We’re here to help them age well. Everyone ages differently.”

Mantione said that the contract extension is good for the seniors, who will continue to benefit from a full schedule and a welcoming building. She noted that programs would still be available through other entities within the senior center, but the SCENe programs would suffer without it.

“This really is just great news,” she said. “I’m really happy to hear that.”

The Concord Town Board will next meet Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Concord Town Hall, 86 Franklin St., Springville.