EMS Volunteers Ask PA Lawmakers to 'Slow the Bleeding'

"It's a crisis, to the point where we don't know if you call 9-1-1, if we'll be there," said Union City's fire chief about volunteer ambulance services ask state legislators for help.

Erie Times-News, Pa.
Union City Fire Dept Ambulance (pa)
Union City, PA, Fire Department

UNION CITY, PA—Erie region state legislators were asked Thursday to "help slow the bleeding" of volunteer ambulance services struggling to handle emergency calls.

About 35 emergency medical services volunteers and municipal leaders called for a reduction in state education, training and certification requirements to help keep volunteer services on the road.

EMS services, largely provided by local fire departments locally, have few volunteers and few resources to pay staff, and some are struggling to guarantee service, providers said.

"We're losing too many volunteers, and we can't gain volunteers to replace them," Union City Fire Department Chief Isaiah Edwards said during a noontime meeting at the department's social hall.

"It's a crisis, to the point where we don't know if you call 9-1-1, if we'll be there," Edwards said. "I truly don't believe you are going to fix this on the volunteer side. All you can do is slow the bleeding."

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