BATH, N.Y. (WENY) -- With the need for emergency medical responders on the rise in Steuben County, local lawmakers have approved a study to see how current needs are being met.

The study was approved yesterday by the county legislature's Public Safety and Corrections Committee.

Steuben is facing a challenge many rural areas across the nation are wrestling with: how to get the best service available to people located a significant distance from medical centers.

"We have worked on ways to handle this for years," county Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall said. "This study will give us a firm idea of what is really happening so we can make some critical decisions."

The study will be the first extensive look at response to emergency medical needs by the county in more than 10 years.

Conducted by the Center for Public Safety Management LLC, the study will track services from the time 9-1-1 dispatchers field a call to the on-site response and hospital admittance.

The $58,000 study will take up to eight months, paid for by funds now in the emergency services department's budget, with options to improve those services.