Office Locations 
District Address Information
78 Main Street, 1st Floor
Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: 814-362-4400
Toll-Free:  1-866-437-8181
Fax:  814-362-4405
Hours:  Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed noon to 1 p.m. daily

107 South Main Street
Room 1
Coudersport, PA 16915
Phone: 814-274-9769
Hours:  Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed noon to 1 p.m. daily

55 Fraley Street
Kane, PA 16735
Phone: 814-837-0880
Fax: 814 837-2257
Hours:  Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed noon to 1 p.m. daily

Capitol Address Information
150 Main Capitol
PO Box 202067
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2067
Phone: 717-787-5075
Fax:  717-705-7021

Email Address
MCauser@PahouseGOP.com

Answer the Call: Save Our Ambulance Services
9/8/2015
What if you called 911 for a medical emergency and no one came?

Ambulance services across Pennsylvania, and especially in rural areas like ours, are facing an emergency of their own. They are short on funds and personnel, and some could be forced to shut down completely. Having ambulance services nearby, ready to respond to people in need, is critical. In fact, it can mean the difference between life and death.

That’s why I was encouraged to see more than 100 people come out to a public meeting last week at the Port Allegany Fire Department to discuss the future of our ambulance services. Dozens of EMS personnel from throughout the region, as well as state, county and local officials, were on hand to offer their perspectives on the situation.

While much of the discussion focused on problems rather than solutions, one thing is very clear: The men and women who work with our ambulance services, whether as volunteers or career personnel, are very passionate about what they do. They recognize the need for these services better than most of us because they see what a difference it makes every time they go out on a call. They are dedicated to serving their communities and to doing all they can to save lives.

Having volunteered as an EMT myself for many years, I still remember many of the patients we helped…and many of those we weren’t able to help, despite our best efforts. I was pretty young when I started volunteering, and to say it was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement. But it remains one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

So in addition to the impact it has on public safety, the struggles of our ambulance companies are very personal to me.

Many issues were discussed during the meeting, but most focused on three main areas of concern: funding, training and a lack of volunteers.

On the funding side, two bills that passed the House earlier this year could help. One would ensure ambulance services are paid directly by insurance companies, rather than having to count on patients to pass along the insurance check. The second would ensure they are paid for calls where treatment is provided but no transport takes place. There is also a state grant program available to volunteer ambulance services, and many of our local companies have benefitted from that over the years. Other funding issues we need to look at include Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, and support from local governments.

When it comes to training, the number of hours required, the cost and the limited availability/accessibility of training programs are all creating challenges for rural ambulance services. One option I suggested that could at least help to address the cost and accessibility concerns would be to partner with the Rural Regional Community College, which is currently under development.

Probably the toughest problem to solve is the dwindling number of volunteers. Being an EMT is a rewarding experience, but it requires a significant investment of time and money on the part of the volunteer.

While there are no easy answers to any of the issues discussed, we must do all we can to keep these organizations operating. That’s why I intend to follow up on the recent public meeting by establishing a task force of local emergency response personnel and others involved in health care.

For the sake of your safety and the safety of your family, friends and neighbors, we must come together and respond to this emergency. We need to find a way to address the challenges facing our ambulance companies in order to sustain these vital, life-saving services.

Representative Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler
717.772.9846
phippler@pahousegop.com
RepCauser.com / Facebook.com/RepCauser

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