Ambulance agencies fail to present proposal to Greenwich supervisors

GREENWICH TWP., Pa. - Four ambulance agencies – Kutztown Area Transport Services, Hamburg EMS, Cetronia Ambulance Corps, and Northeastern Berks EMS – failed to present a unified proposal regarding Greenwich Township’s ambulance coverage at the township's supervisors meeting Monday night.

Douglas Demchyk, the president of Northeastern Berks EMS, presented a time study conducted by three of the agencies – Hamburg, Cetronia, and Northeastern Berks.

"We tried to coordinate with Mr. Freeman [CEO of Kutztown Area Transport Services] in these meetings," Demchyk said. "Unfortunately, he was unavailable several different times when we tried to arrange a meeting for the benefit of this meeting tonight."

He said the three agencies that were present came to the agreement that whichever agency was the closest is the one that should respond to the 911 call.

Rodney Freeman, the CEO of Kutztown Area Transport Services, said he was not in agreement with that conclusion and provided his own time study.

Solicitor Dan Becker said it was his understanding that all four parties would reach an agreement on a proposal that considers all the factors.

Becker said that, while the agencies focused on presenting information about response time, there were other factors that needed to be considered. He said he was concerned about residents being bombarded with subscriptions from four different ambulance services and the fact that four agencies would be competing for the same money, which could potentially cause one of the agencies to fail, causing more issues for residents.

"I think it's unfortunate that we're going to have to spend the township's money to make a resolution to this," said Matthew Brett, a Greenwich Township resident and Kempton fire chief. "We have three fire companies. The three fire companies split up the township. We send individual donation forms out for our area."

"Halfway through the month," Brett said, "I got an email from Rodney saying, 'We didn't have the meeting. There was no reason to meet. That's not what the township supervisors wanted.' I disagree. I think he did not want to meet with the group. It's something that could have been worked out. He did not want to join in the meeting. In the end, he stopped replying to all emails. Now it's unfortunate. It's going to cost money."

The supervisors decided to review the information and to look into the cost of hiring an independent agency to determine the best course of action.

In other business, several residents came prepared to discuss the proposed warehouse on Route 737, north of Interstate 78's Krumsville interchange, however, the township received a letter requesting an extension until July 31 as the developer waits for information from third-party agencies such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Becker said if the supervisors did not grant the 90-day extension, they could open the township up to litigation. The supervisors voted unanimously to grant the extension.

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