Lack of ambulance coverage leaves Mahaffey area searching for solutions

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MAHAFFEY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Multiple township supervisors are worried about the lack of Ambulance coverage in the Mahaffey area, and a neighboring EMS service is offering to help.

Ferguson Township Supervisor, Donald Sheeder, called a public meeting to address problems with the Mahaffey Community Ambulance.

“We’re not trying to put the ambulance service out of business here in Mahaffey,” Sheeder said. “We’re just trying to find a solution to the problem we have.”

Sheeder said there’s been an ongoing issue of the ambulance service being unable to respond to their calls.

Mahaffey Community Ambulance is a volunteer EMS service.

Sheeder said he thinks the reason could be a limited number of volunteers, however the ambulance service has not provided him any reasons at this time.

To make up for it, surrounding EMS agencies, like Curwensville Rescue Hose and Ladder Company are filling in the gap.

“That can create 20 to 30 minute response times to get here,” Curwensville EMS director Robert Shearer said. “That 20 to 30 minutes could be life or death for some people.”

Shearer said Curwensville does not want to take the service away from Mahaffey, but is offering a few options to help.

One option would be automatically assisting Mahaffey when they are called.

The second would be to permanently station their own crews in Mahaffey. Anyone currently with Mahaffey Ambulance would be invited to continue serving their community.

Bell Township Supervisor Dave Kauffman said he’d like to see the ambulance service continue on its own.

“Punxsutawney, Curwensville, they’re all great people, wouldn’t take anything away from them,” Kauffman said. “We just need our own people to step forward. I say it’s time that we helped.”

He wants to see more residents willing to volunteer their time for the service in order to keep it running.

Before any decision are made, they want the community’s feedback.

“We need to sit down with both ambulance services to see what solution we can get,” Sheeder said.

Board members at Mahaffey Community Ambulance said they only recently heard about the meeting and did not want to comment at this time.

The public meeting will be held Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mahaffey Fire Hall.

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