MILFORD, PA ― Pike County Commissioners and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Tim Knapp recently provided a mid-year update on the Medical Services Matching Grant Program of County Emergency Department (EMS), which doubles a municipality’s annual contribution to EMS up to a maximum of 2 mils.
The program was announced in July 2021 at a public presentation at the Pike County Training Center and launched in January 2022. County-wide, 2 mils equals approximately $2.2 million. Combined with city funding, the county game created approximately $4.4 million for EMS in Pike County for 2022.
Municipalities participating in the program were required to submit an application informing the commissioners of their 2022 contributions and detailing the increased services to be funded.
Following receipt of funds, on a quarterly basis, municipalities must submit proof of payment showing how county funds were spent.
To date, 12 of the 13 municipalities in Pike County participate in the Emergency Medical Services Matching Grant Program and have made enhancements to their EMS programs.
Pike County Emergency Management Office Director Tim Knapp attended the June 15, 2022 Commissioners meeting to highlight the positive impacts the pairing program has had on the EMS response for maintaining the Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) since the implementation of this program in Pike County.
Increased and expanded services are important results. For example, there is currently at least one transport unit in every municipality, with some areas having up to three transport capable units available.
· Lehman Pike EMS now operates 24 hours a day with paid basic support and advanced support.
· Township of Shohola. Fire and Rescue operates paid BLS 12 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
· Lackawaxen EMS has added a BLS unit paid 80 hours per week from Greeley station in addition to its already full-time unit from Bohemia station.
Milford Fire Dept. EMS offers chargeable BLS 12 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
· Dingman Township. Fire Dept. EMS now offers a 24-hour chargeable BLS service, one on Log Tavern Road and the other on Buist Road.
A notable result of the expansion of the program’s services is the significant reduction in average call response time. OEM Director Knapp reports, “An incredible example is Shohola Township. In 2017, it took an average of 27 minutes to arrive on site, from the time of shipment. Now, in 2022, that time is 8.25 minutes. This is a significant reduction in response time. This reduction occurs in all municipalities.
In addition to increased units and services within the county, there are many services from outside the county’s borders that respond under mutual aid. This is especially important due to the steady increase in call volume each year. Two frequent responders are Lake Region EMS, hailing from Hawley, PA, who have 24 hour paid BLS and ALS; and Port Jervis Ambulance Corp., a native of Port Jervis, NY, which offers 24-hour BLS and ALS.