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Pa. EMS to expand ALS coverage area

The agency is stepping up after West Shore EMS's decision to end the service

By Debbie Chestnut
The Sentinel

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Shippensburg Area Emergency Medical Services is prepared for increased call volume as a result of West Shore EMS’s decision to stop Advanced Life Support service in the Shippensburg area.

Shawn Hartsock, chief of operations, and Heather Franzoni, public relations officer, told the Shippensburg Borough Council on Tuesday that Shippensburg EMS received written notification from West Shore EMS of the action, which will be effective at 7 a.m. June 29. They said Shippensburg EMS already had additional paramedics and equipment in place in anticipation of that action.

Shippensburg’s ALS (paramedic) unit was launched in January to improve service and cut costs to residents in the Shippensburg area. West Shore EMS, previously the area’s first due ALS provider, continued to serve as the second due unit.

According to the letter, West Shore’s call volume is now “less than half of previous volumes.”

Hartsock said it is uncertain at this time whether West Shore will relocate its medic unit to another location in the area, but said Shippensburg will “operate under the assumption that we will pick up the ball and go.”

Franzoni said Shippensburg EMS will meet with Newville and Pleasant Hall officials to make sure those areas, which are in West Shore’s first due area, continue to have service.

“We’re going under the assumption that they’re going to cease operations (in the Shippensburg area) 100 percent,” Franzoni said. “If they cease operations, our unit will be the closest if they (Newville and Pleasant Hall) choose to use us. We want to provide assurance that we won’t let Shippensburg or the region fail.”

In other action, the council approved a proposal of $4,050 from Herbert, Rowland & Grubic for engineering services for the Borough Bridge Capital Improvement Program.

Borough manager Lance Hoover said HRG is a group that does state bridge inspections, identifying any “improvements to make them (bridges) compliant with current regulations.”

Three borough bridges — at West Orange Street, West Burd Street and Springhouse Road — will be inspected.

Inspections are conducted every three years.

In other business, Wayne Wachsmuth, a member of the March to Destiny planning committee, informed the council that this year’s event has been canceled. He said the committee had just one registered re-enactor due to conflicts with other Civil War events such asthe 150th anniversary of the Burning of Chambersburg.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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