Pa. EMS chief: ‘Who will rescue the rescuers’ from crisis?

Susquehanna Township EMS Chief Matthew Baily wrote a letter in response to a Senate commission report and said responders are “woefully underfunded”

By News Staff

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. — An EMS chief wrote a letter responding to a state Senate report about volunteer shortages saying departments are “woefully underfunded.”

ABC27 reported that Susquehanna Township EMS Chief Matthew Baily’s letter, titled “Who Will Rescue the Rescuers, and When?” said EMS providers and firefighters are in a crisis.

"You can't keep on going spending more than you have and receiving less and expect the system to stay in place," Baily said in the letter.

While Baily praised the SR6 report, he compared it to a similar 2004 report that he said fell by the wayside, adding that he doesn’t believe the most recent report will change anything.

Baily said in the letter that "many public safety professionals truly don't expect substantial change."

"We see costs increase and reimbursements remain the same, I mean it doesn't take a genius to see at some point...there's going be an end to all of this," he said. "We can't afford to go another 14 years without addressing these problems and providing substantive solutions."

Baily said issues responders face include low insurance reimbursement, understaffed crews and unfunded mandates, as well as equipment costs.

"As things improve and as we try to strive for more technology in the back of an ambulance, the costs go up but reimbursements stay the same," he said. "I think we need to light a fire under our legislation that we need substantive solutions... and we needed it 14 years ago! You need to be reimbursed for at least what it costs you, and I think that's all we're really asking for. We just need enough to be able to cover our costs to continue performing our mission of rescue."


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