Centre County EMS station seeks solution to uncertain future

Spring Mills, Centre County, Pa. - Penns Valley EMS officials say if they continue on the same path without any more money coming in they may have to close in 2019.


Warren Sasserman has been an EMT at Penns Valley EMS, serving his community for 37 years.


"I still enjoy going. Especially, I said the other night that I've been in pert near every house in Penns Valley I think," Sasserman said.

 

But now he is watching it struggle to stay afloat, which could significantly impact the care the area receives.


"If they go out of business, what will happen? And the answer is our services will be from a long distance. We will not have the care that we had. We won't have care by people who know us in the Valley," Penn Township Supervisor David Braucht said.

 

Right now, the income for the station is about $480,000, but expenses come in at just over $600,000 -- leaving them more than $100,000 in debt.


"Our cost of readiness is about $1,000 per call. But we only actually get paid about $500 every time we take someone to the hospital," Penns Valley EMS Chief Jason Brooks said.


No matter what the call may be, they only get paid if they take you to the hospital.


"At this point we cannot charge for anything other than transport. So, if we respond to a patient and we end up for any reason not transporting that patient to the hospital -- we don't get paid for that call," Brooks said.

 

Now it is up to municipality leaders to help figure out a solution, or Sasserman says the health and safety of community members may suffer.

 

"I walked into a restaurant one day and this guy stood up and says, ‘Attention everybody, I want you to meet the man that saved my life right here.’ That lasts a long time, that's a big payment. So you can go on. (I’ve) been called an angel," Sasserman said.


Some of the solutions being discussed include imposing a tax on all the municipalities they service or merging with another station. Officials also said if more community members buy station memberships that it would also help.


Don't Miss

  • Steelers Ticket Giveaway
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Home for the Holidays
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • 2017 Big Ol' Buck Contest
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Teacher of the Month
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Download the WTAJ News App Today!

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center