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West Donegal Gets Request for Change to Ambulance Service Area

West Donegal Township supervisors considered a request by Northwest Emergency Medical Services to expand its coverage area to include the entire township.

Township Manager John Yoder told supervisors at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 10, that part of the Rheems section of the township is in the area officially served by Susquehanna Valley Emergency Medical Services, but the headquarters of Northwest EMS is much closer, meaning Northwest EMS responds to about 90 percent of emergency calls there. Northwest EMS cannot solicit subscribers in the area since it does not officially serve it.

“It seems to make sense to me,” Yoder said of the Northwest EMS request, though he said he had not yet discussed the matter with Susquehanna Valley EMS.

The township gives about $4,400 a year to Susquehanna Valley EMS and $10,000 to Northwest EMS; Yoder said Northwest was also asking to get the money the township currently pays to Susquehanna Valley EMS.

Yoder said EMS companies are facing serious financial problems in part because payments from insurance companies that used to be sent to ambulance companies are now being sent to the patients. The patients are supposed to pay the EMS company, but don’t always do so.

In other business, supervisors approved an ordinance for stop signs and speed limits on streets in the Bishop Woods development that were recently dedicated as public streets. The vote was unanimous among the supervisors present; Supervisor Philip Dunn was absent.

Supervisors also discussed a culvert on West Ridge Road. Supervisor Douglas Hottenstein said the orange safety fence around the partially completed project was too flimsy to even stop a bicycle. Yoder Supervisors Chairman Roger Snyder said a letter from Township Solicitor Josele Cleary would likely get the contractor working on the project to do something more to protect against the hazard.

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