35 Pa. volunteer EMS services ask legislators to 'slow the bleeding'

The services called for reductions in education, training and certification requirements as they face volunteer shortages


Valerie Myers
Erie Times-News, Pa.

UNION CITY, Pa. — Erie region state legislators were asked Thursday to "help slow the bleeding" of volunteer ambulance services struggling to handle emergency calls.

About 35 emergency medical services volunteers and municipal leaders called for a reduction in state education, training and certification requirements to help keep volunteer services on the road.

The Union City Fire Company is one of the departments asking legislators to
The Union City Fire Company is one of the departments asking legislators to "help slow the bleed" of volunteer ambulance services. (Photo/Station 113 - UCFC Facebook)

EMS services, largely provided by local fire departments locally, have few volunteers and few resources to pay staff, and some are struggling to guarantee service, providers said.

"We're losing too many volunteers, and we can't gain volunteers to replace them," Union City Fire Department Chief Isaiah Edwards said during a noontime meeting at the department's social hall.

"It's a crisis, to the point where we don't know, if you call 911, if we'll be there," Edwards said. "I truly don't believe you are going to fix this on the volunteer side. All you can do is slow the bleeding."

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©2019 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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